Hide Photography

A beautiful juvenile northern goshawk perched on an old tree stump in the forest taken during a hide photography session in the Netherlands

A day in a forest hide

Hide photography...03:15 AM wakey wakey; a start of a new day

Swiftly I make my coffee and sandwiches for the day, put all gear in the car for an hours drive. Today I will help a few photographer with the set-up and lingo of hide photography.The ultimate goal is to see the juvenile northern goshawk.

The ultimate goal is to see the juvenile goshawks and photograph them if possible.


It's 5:15, at first light we walk into the dark forest towards the hide. On arrival we start building the perches, cleaning the reflection pond and set-up our gear.

What did I bring:

  • Nikon D5, D810
  • Nikon 600, 300mm
  • teleconverters 1.4 &2.0 type III's
  • Tripod and UniqBall ball head

Right off the bat I set-up the D5/600 combi, that works great under low light conditions, superb AF system and is fast.

Finally, it's all good and ready, little after 6 AM...coffee time 🙂

Bang 6:20 first Northern Goshawk on the perch an adult male, quickly followed by a juvenile male..... (mission accomplished!)

As the day progressed another juvenile northern hawk landed, this time it's a biggy the female. She is going to be a beauty of a raptor, pffff awesome bird.

Just before we wanted to leave the hide, there was panic amongst the little birds normally indicating that a raptor is near.It didn't take long before the last juvenile of the nest showed itself. Another fine looking young male.

So after more twelve hours tucked away in a small private hide, we had seen and photographed 4 individual Northern Goshawks. Next, to 13 other species of birds (this count was low due to a rainy start of the day and presence of raptors)I just love the adrenaline rush when these

I just love the adrenaline rush when these raptors silently appear in front of the hide and the forest goes quiet for a moment.

Every day a new day, tucked away deep in the forest.

Any comments, suggestions, and ideas are always welcome just contact me.

Cheers, Michael


  1. Robert Kok
    26 December 2017

    Prachtige foto’s Michael!

    1. Michael Kuijl
      29 December 2017

      Dank je wel Robert

  2. Mark Meth-Cohn
    6 January 2022

    Hi Michael
    I met you briefly one stormy weekend a couple of years in Alan McFadyen’s hides in Galloway, Scotland. I went off to photograph Buzzards and you went for Sparrowhawks. Hope you are surviving the Covid battle!?
    Do you still run Goshawk workshops? If you do I’d love to come over for a couple of days when things calm down and are less restricted.

    1. Michael Kuijl
      12 April 2022

      Hi Mark,

      the Goshawk hide is still going strong but i do not spend much time there. Currently, partly due to Covid restrictions back into landscape photography.

      Maybe i will pick it up again later this year, or completly skip it..

      Regards, Michael


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