Female American Kestrel and a VoleFemale American Kestrel and a Vole – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I would describe American Kestrels as tiny but tough, they are North America’s smallest falcon but I don’t think that hinders them at all. American Kestrels are year round residents here in Utah and they have to tolerate some very harsh conditions during our long, cold winters.

When I photographed this female American Kestrel in the winter of 2010 it was bitter cold and as I recall,there was plenty of snow on the ground and the morning fog hung heavy in the air. I didn’t see the kestrel catch the vole but I did see her feed on it rather voraciously.

American Kestrel populations are declining in many locations, even here in Utah there numbers seem to be dropping. For more information about the declining populations and how you can help as a citizen scientist please check out the American Kestrel Partnership, a project of the Peregrine Fund.