Banking American Kestrel female

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!


Additional posts you might enjoy:

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.


  1. A solid 10!
    And the eye contact puts it in a category of its own!
    Great shot!

  2. WOW! WOW! WOW! This lady kestrel with her fanned tail feathers and crescent arc wing position has to be a guaranteed, major prize winner!!K. Fantastic!!!

  3. Pretty. darn. amazing. shot. They REALLY are nimble fliers, one of only 2 spp. I know of that can hover in ZERO wind. And I’ll always appreciate them for making sex ID SO easy. =)

  4. And I thank you for the belated Christmas gift too. An incredible image.

  5. Outstanding image Mia — she’s such a beautiful falcon! This is a bird I often see hovering over the vacant field behind our house, watching for voles, etc.

  6. yes, you should have thanked her. Love the picture.

  7. Magnificent Image Mia !

  8. Kestrels are so pretty. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a nicer photo of one of these in flight.

  9. She is beautiful! Thanks for photo!

  10. Love the Kestrel, beautiful photo.

  11. Wow! She’s banking to have a better look at you!

Comments are closed