Female American Kestrel in the West Desert

Female American Kestrel perched on a mound of dirt in the west desert

Female American Kestrel perched on a mound of dirt in the west desert – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

A few days ago I spotted this female American Kestrel on the road to Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, and I do mean in the road. She almost didn’t move even when the pickup was 20 feet from her as we rolled to a stop. I don’t know if we were in Tooele or Juab County at that point but it did seem to be an odd place for an American Kestrel to be, miles from the closest cliffs or mountains and in an area were the vegetation was almost nonexistent. She flew up from the road and landed on one of the trail markers for the Pony Express and from there across the road to perch on a small mound of dirt.

American Kestrel female about to lift off from a mound of dirt in the west desert

American Kestrel female about to lift off from a mound of dirt in the west desert – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I took four images of the female kestrel while she was on that mound of dirt last Wednesday and I hoped that my exposure was going to work because I didn’t have time to change it before she lifted off and flew out over the arid desert. This was my last image of her before she left and I love the pose she left me with along with the memories of an American Kestrel in the west desert of Utah.

I don’t know why she was there but I am very glad she was.

Mia

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