Male American Kestrel hovering – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited, no decoy
Hovering Kestrel shots aren’t easy to capture without baiting or using decoys, part of that is because I can’t tell when a kestrel might get it in its mind to hover for prey, the other part is being in the right place at the right time. I can’t even remember how many times I have seen kestrels hovering that were too far away or hovering right over me in really horrendous light or how many times they are hovering close by but facing the wrong way. Seeing them hover and being unable to get the images is very frustrating.
Hovering American Kestrel - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited, no decoy
I photographed this male American Kestrel hovering while on the causeway leaving Antelope Island and I was able to get images with light in the birds eyes in fairly decent light but I still hope I can get images like this with some clouds in the sky and a little bit closer. I do think these images show the great poses of a hovering kestrel and how handsome our smallest kestrel in North America is.
It seems that I don’t just have “nemesis birds”, I also have “nemesis dream shots” too.
* Yep, I am on the road again, please feel free to share this post with your family and friends! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments.
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 - 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.
Male American Kestrel in low light
Male American Kestrel in low lightI prefer the golden light that is often talked about but I also appreciate images that are taken in low light for the subtle tones and the mood that low light can add to a frame. This image was taken on a foggy, cold morning but it must not have been too cold since there isn’t hoarfrost clinging to the perch.
I’m hoping this post is published this morning, some of you may be aware that I have been having issues with my hosting provider and the service they are supposed to be providing which is 99% up time.
American Kestrel male- Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/125, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light not baited
I came across this American Kestrel image yesterday while moving images to a new external hard drive and realized I hadn’t edited any of the photos in the series yet, so I did. This was taken in the winter of 2010.
The light wasn’t the best because it didn’t illuminate the bird’s front as well as I would have liked but some rules are meant to be broken. I like how the falcon is lit from the side and back. The background isn’t sky, it is the snow-covered Wasatch Range that is still partly in the shadows.
A Look Back At 2012
2012 was a fantastic year for me as a photographer and I am looking forward to the joys that 2013 will bring. Happy New Year to all.