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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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.

10 Comments

  1. Thank you all for the comments on the images of this female kestrel, she was a beauty.

  2. I love these tiny little falcons full of color. Gorgeous birds. I’m thinking this summer might bring us to a road trip up to Antelope Island? I’ve been thinking about planning some trips up North for fun:)

  3. Humming Bird lover

    Hi! I so love this bird! So colorful and busy,too. Have a fine shooting day!

  4. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    Was there a storm or something that might have brought her there off her course? Or do you think she might have been following a rodent of some sort? I hope she was o.k. so I’m glad she flew off. Glad for your good fortune to have come across her like that and get such great photos.

  5. Beautiful and colourful.

  6. I’m glad she was there for you. She’s beautiful!

  7. very nice pose, i like the one she open the wings, beautifull
    have a nice sunday mia ☼

  8. The kestrel is a beautiful bird, I love its coloring. Great shots, Mia!

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