Female American Kestrel with prey

Female American Kestrel with preyFemale American Kestrel with prey – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 320, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

American Kestrels are fascinating falcons, they are tiny, colorful and at times quite pugnacious. The female and male have different plumage coloration (sexual dichromatism) and the female is generally 10% larger than the male (sexual size dimorphism).  American Kestrels are also the most widespread falcons in North America and its range extends from Alaska to Argentina which include as many as 17 subspecies. Not that long ago American Kestrels were called “Sparrow Hawks” and many people still use that common name.

This female American Kestrel captured a vole at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area on New Years Eve of 2009 and flew up to a post to devour her prey. Though the image might be considered graphic by some people for me it simply shows nature, the kestrel’s behavior and allows a close up look of our tiniest falcon.

Mia

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