When I arrived at the spot, this male Northern Harrier was on one of its favorite perches. After 10 or so minutes of watching it clean its talons, I headed off in a different direction to find songbirds. When I came back around it was still perched and I got to questioning what his comfort zone actually was. This is the first year I've spent any time around harriers and had no idea. For all I know I could approach within 50 feet and it wouldn't care as long as I wasn't threatening. So I did the classic longest-way-possible zig zag trying to act completely disinterested in him. I'm really bad with eyeballing distances but I got closer than expected before it started calling out what I'm guessing was an alarm to the female. So with my question answered I was prepared to go back when it took flight right towards me and then banked off to the left.
Captured handheld with the Canon EOS-1D X and Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x III on May 28, 2019 at 6:32 PM. I used AI Servo AF mode and multi-segment metering. Cloudy WB setting.
Raw processed in DPP4. In PS, added treetops from a few frames earlier in the burst sequence.