Banking American Kestrel femaleBanking American Kestrel female – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

The term “Banking” in my title doesn’t mean this female American Kestrel is heading to the closest ATM or to a local branch of Wells Fargo because this little beauty doesn’t care one cent about money! By “banking” I mean that the bird has turned in flight into a position that shows her fully extended wings from above. As I recall this kestrel was turning to head back to her perch after a failed attempt at capturing prey in the snow below her.

Photographing birds in flight is a challenge to many and capturing a banking turn can be even more difficult especially with a small fast moving falcon like this American Kestrel. Getting this pose with the wings extended, the tail fanned out and getting eye contact practically made me jump for joy on the Christmas Eve day that I photographed her at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in northern Utah. I should have thanked her for the Christmas present!