Common Black Hawk

Between the Rio Puerco and I-40 near downtown Gallup there is a little used walking path. I was following it in search of a shanty-town where people are reportedly living in tents. While making my way along the trail I spotted a large bird swooping around. Large birds around here are usually crows, but this one had some brown and white. It landed on a street light just past me, so I took my D200 and my 70-200 VR lens, added my 1.4x teleconverter and got ready to click.

A pretty widely known wildlife photographer, Moose Peterson wrote in something I once read that birds often defecate right before they take to the air. I slowly moved closer to the bird, keeping my eye to the viewfinder and watching the focus as I moved. Then the bird dropped it's messy deposit and I started to take a photo. And that is when the hawk beat its wings and took off into the air. Not exactly a pure nature image with the light pole the frame, but I wanted to give some context of the images being in a more or less urban area.
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