Female American Kestrel on a frosty winter mornFemale American Kestrel on a frosty winter morn – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

The weather has taken a turn here in Utah lately with monsoons heading up from the south bringing much needed moisture and the temperatures have dropped some. Today is supposed to be windy but tomorrow might bring a bit of a surprise… snow in the high country! That is a little strange for August.

The forecast made me think of fall and winter, how the scenery changes and of the many birds I will see after fall migration is over. American Kestrels are year round residents in Utah and when the cold sets in they are less skittish and will allow closer approaches. Just after the new year in 2010 I was delighted to photograph this female American Kestrel on a frosty perch with the snow-covered Wasatch Mountains in the background. The male kestrels may be more colorful but I think the delicate colors of the females are equally appealing.

Life is good.