Photographer Captures Red-Tailed Hawk Floating In The Wind

A photographer captured a stunning video of a red-tailed hawk floating in the wind in Colorado.

Bill Bryant was in Golden, Colorado when he spotted a pair of Red-tail hawks enjoying the winds streaming down from the Rockies. He decided to try and capture their movements on film, and his efforts paid off.

In a mesmerizing video, Bryant captured the moment a red-tailed hawk was rising with the wind. It wasn’t making forward progress or flapping its wings much. Instead, it just floated there – its eyes fixated on the ground below.

Photo: YouTube/
National Audubon Society
Photo: YouTube/
National Audubon Society

His footage went on to win the 2021 Audubon Photography Award. Speakign with Audubon, Bryant stated:

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“Over several days I watched a pair of Red-tails taking advantage of the strong early summer winds streaming down from the Rockies, hovering in midair while scanning the foothills for mice and ground squirrels. This one floated almost level with my lens. His head stayed still while his body moved, his wings and tail steadying him and his dangling feet acting as ballast.”

Photo: flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Red-tailed hawks hover in the wind as a way of hunting. All About Birds explained that when conditions are windy enough, the birds “may face into the wind and hover without flapping, eyes fixed on the ground.” Then, when they see their prey, they “attack in a slow, controlled dive with legs outstretched.”

It’s unclear if the red-tailed hawk that Bryant photographed ended up finding any prey or how long it hovered for, but the footage turned out stunning either way.

Check it out below:

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