Male Cinereous Harrier
1/640s @ f/6.3 ISO 160 @ 400mm
The male differs from the female in that the female has beautiful blue/grey plumage and the male (as seen above) has Earth-tone colors. In many bird species the male is the more brightly colored of the two but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. The one thing they do have in common is their startling yellow eyes. From a distance it’s easy to confuse this bird with the Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango). They are almost identical in size and color but the Chimango Caracara has dark brown eyes and different coloring around the beak.
I was able to successfully stalk this wild bird to within the minimum focusing distance (MFD) of my Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L Super-telephoto lens which is 3.5 meters (or about 11 feet). I’ve been getting some great shots in the Laguna Nimez Nature Reserve (on the shores of Lago Argentino) here in El Calafate (Southern Patagonia, Argentina). I photographed this beautiful raptor in the early morning hours with the sun at my back (over my right shoulder from the east). Click on either one of the images to view a larger high-resolution image of this marvellous bird.
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Photographer, Writer, Traveller
Southern Patagonia, Argentina