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American Kestrel

This American Kestrel  (Falco sparverius) was seen in Salt Lake City, Utah on one of my walks to work.  This was actually a fascinating story as I first saw this bird scream and fly past my head in a blur as it flew into a bush that small songbirds typically frequent.  It missed its breakfast and I stood there dumbfounded, totally forgetting my camera.  It flew away and I continued on my way past another bush where the kestrel flew into in a blur and again, missed its breakfast.  Again, I could not get my camera out in time, but pulled it out of its bag and recorded the kestrel as it flew up into a tree far above me.  The zoomed in image above was made from a screen grab in Aperture.

Camera: Canon 1D MkIV
Exposure: 1/4000
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 300mm
ISO: 800

 

Here he is in the tree above me calling out.  I walked on past the tree after making a couple of far off shots only to hear him call again and see him zoom into another shrub next to the sidewalk, this time carrying off a songbird for breakfast.  It was only now that I realized that this kestrel had been using me to hunt, waiting for me to walk past bushes that finches and chickadees typically frequent, flushing the birds from their hiding spot whereupon he’d pounce.  It was a pretty amazing and humbling moment.

Lesson:  Walk more, drive less and carry a camera.

Camera: Canon 1D MkIV
Exposure: 1/4000
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 300mm
ISO: 800

Categories: Birds.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] American kestrel (Falco sparverius) was seen at the Farmington Bay WMA earlier today. I’ve photographed an American kestrel before in my neighborhood, but have not gotten as close, nor had optics as good as the Fuji XF 100-400 […]