Female Kestrel with prey on a snowy day

I’ve been seeing plenty of American Kestrels lately but none have been close enough to get nice images of so I pulled this one out of my archives from 2010.

Female Kestrel with prey on a snowy dayFemale Kestrel with prey on a snowy day – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 400, +1.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, prey captured by the bird

Female American Kestrels aren’t nearly as colorful as the males but I adore the intricate plumage patterns they have on their backs, wings and tails. And I love their fierceness and attitudes towards larger birds, their prey and even people. This female was photographed at Farmington Bay WMA in northern Utah.

American Kestrels are North America’s smallest falcon and in some areas their populations are declining. Efforts are being made through the American Kestrel Partnership to study populations numbers and nest box monitoring. American Kestrels are cavity nesters so man made nest boxes can be a great help.

Snow, lots of it, is being predicted here for Christmas Day and that might just make these little falcons a bit stickier so I can get more images of them.

Life is good.



  1. CJ Oakley December 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Gorgeous bird – lovely capture. Merry Christmas Mia!

  2. Jolanta December 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Beautiful photo Mia! Merry Christmas!

  3. Nancy Collins December 24, 2014 at 6:25 am

    I always feel blessed when I cross paths with an American Kestrel! Thanks for sharing Mia!

  4. Elephant's Child December 23, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Fingers and toes crossed that you receive the gift of a ‘sticky’ Christmas Day.
    Thank you so much for all the beauty you have brightened my world with this year.

  5. Kathleen December 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Populations have been declining on the east coast since the 1970s, and the west coast since the 1990’s. There is no significant change in the middle of the country and the Breeding Bird Survey shows a overall decline over the last several decades.

  6. Utahbooklover December 23, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    What a beauty she is and we appreciate the reduction in voles. Looking forward to our predicted white Christmas; only a 28% chance of snow falling on the 25th, so we’re lucky to have the belated snow on Christmas Day.

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