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.

American Kestrel really tugging at the vole

American Kestrel really tugging at the vole

Female American Kestrel eating a vole

Female American Kestrel eating a vole

Kestrel with her prey

Kestrel with her prey

A kestrel with a beak full of prey

A kestrel with a beak full of prey

She has an appetite

She has an appetite

She is really tugging hard

She is really tugging hard

American Kestrel getting rid of the vole’s intestines

American Kestrel getting rid of the vole’s intestines

American Kestrel bending over her prey

American Kestrel bending over her prey

Female American Kestrel stretching our her prey

Female American Kestrel stretching our her prey

American Kestrel and her fuzzy beak

American Kestrel and her fuzzy beak

Kestrel tearing the vole

Kestrel tearing the vole

Putting everything into her meal

Putting everything into her meal

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

Female American Kestrel balancing in the wind

Female American Kestrel balancing in the wind

More balancing

More balancing

Female American Kestrel struggling in the wind

Female American Kestrel struggling in the wind

Lunch on the fly? I got it!

Lunch on the fly? I got it!

Female American Kestrel getting a grip

Female American Kestrel getting a grip

American Kestrel female downing her lunch

American Kestrel female downing her lunch

Female American Kestrel almost done with lunch

Female American Kestrel almost done with lunch

 

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 struggled to tear the meat into pieces and in the end she won the struggle.

Life is good.

Mia