I had the chance to photograph this rough-legged hawk over several weeks as she was often hanging out near the auto tour at Ridgefield, but I wasn’t happy with the close-up shots as the skies were always a dull gray overcast. I arrived at sunrise on Saturday morning specifically with the hope of photographing her under clear skies, so I ignored all of the other animals at the refuge and headed straight to where I had seen her last. Thankfully not only did I get my blue sky but she was waiting on a sign post near the road. There was little traffic at the refuge at that hour so I had the chance to watch her for some time. She eventually let out a large yawn in the beautiful morning light, and I was very lucky that she turned back towards the sun when she yawned so that the sun illuminated her mouth.
I laughed to myself thinking that I wasn’t the only one who thought it was awfully early in the morning to be out and about.