There are times when photographs speak for themselves, they tell a story or show behavior and with my bird and wildlife photography they also show the natural cycle of life. These images may be gruesome for some to view but they show this falcon’s natural behavior quite well.

These images were taken three days ago after I came upon a female American Kestrel that had captured a vole and had begun to ingest it. The wind was blowing from the north and she was having a difficult time eating and keeping her balance.

I photographed these images using my Nikon D300 with a Nikkor 200-400mm VR lens plus a 1.4x TC attached. These images are not baited, the bird captured the vole herself. I wish it had been a natural perch but honestly I don’t think I would have had such a clear view if she had been perched on a branch or a bush.

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole
Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole ~ Davis County, Utah

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

 Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

(Getting rid of the intestines which they do not eat)

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) eating a vole

 

I photographed this female American Kestrel for just eight minutes and took hundreds of images, the shot above was taken near the end of the series when a vehicle came along and the small falcon picked up her prey and flew away to finish feeding on it. She struggled in the wind, she stuggled to tear the meat into pieces and in the end she won the struggle.

Mia

More American Kestrel images