American Kestrel Landing With A Grasshopper

Male American Kestrel landing with a grasshopperMale American Kestrel landing with a grasshopper – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

It is always a fine morning when I am out in the field with birds and although yesterday wasn’t nearly as birdy as I would have liked it to be while I was out it was far better than staying at home culling or processing images, cleaning house or worrying about this election.  I photographed a few wrens, avocets, blackbirds, sparrows, harriers and doves but the best bird, or at least the one I spent the most time with, was an American Kestrel.

The male American Kestrel was hunting from the top of a rusty gravel separator near Goose Egg Island at Farmington Bay WMA. From that perch he was able to spot grasshoppers on the side of the hill and would fly in, snatch them and then come back to the perch to eat his prey. Because the kestrel did this repeatedly I hoped to capture images of him as he landed with the prey in his bill so when the kestrel would fly off to get prey from the hillside I pre-focused just above the perch that I hoped he would come back to and he did just that several times.

I was able take one image of the American Kestrel landing with a grasshopper in his bill that was sharp and that I liked. It isn’t everyday that I am able to capture a landing kestrel right before its feet grasp a perch so I am happy with this photo.

Life is good. It is better with birds in it.



  1. Utahbooklover November 9, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Good to know those grasshoppers are good for something.
    Turns out our worries about the election were justified. ☹️

  2. Grace Cohen November 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    The early bird catches the worm. Even better, the early photographer catches the Kestral with the grasshopper! Nice setup and shot, Mia!

  3. Elephant's Child November 8, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Another lovely image. Thank you.

  4. Peg Helming November 8, 2016 at 7:27 am

    What an awesome photo of the Kestrel. It makes me happy to look at something other than political ads that just agitate me. Solace in the world of nature-highly recommended!! I love this site and look forward to the images and the knowledge that Mia imparts. Thank you so much! This is a work of love.

  5. Bob McPherson November 8, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Beautiful image, Mia.

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