American Kestrel lift off

Male American Kestrel lift offMale American Kestrel lift off – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 328mm, natural light, not baited

American Kestrels are a challenge to photograph when they are in flight or lifting off because they move so quickly and in low light it can be even harder. This male kestrel had been perched on a pole at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area when I noticed that it was about to lift off so I was ready when it did. Even though the light was low due to fog I was able to obtain enough shutter speed to capture the moment just before his feet left the pole.

I would have preferred a blue sky background with a few fluffy clouds but photographing in low light conditions does test my skills and abilities and I enjoy that.


This image was taken in 2010.


  1. Cindy Schnackel July 23, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Great shot! I don’t often get farther than Facebook to view your photos but just wanted to come and say how much I enjoy them all. Burrowing owls are my fave but it’s a tough choice!

  2. Sherry in MT July 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Absolutely stunning shot! Speechless!

  3. Colleen July 20, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I think he stands out more with the gray background.

    • Utahbooklover July 20, 2014 at 10:49 am

      I agree with Colleen — and I like how the it coordinates with the shades of gray in his feathers. Interesting capture too.

    • Elephant's Child July 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      And another support for the grey. I think the blue could be a little distracting – and the kestrel deserves the stage. Stunning shot.

  4. Jolanta July 20, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Fantastic shot!

  5. John Randall July 20, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Excellent capture Mia !

  6. judy watson July 20, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Beautiful photo!

  7. Carroll Tarvin July 20, 2014 at 5:41 am

    I believe he is saying “Watch me!” Wonderful photo. Thanks for sharing it.

Comments are closed.