Male American Kestrel Resting and Preening – One Good Bird Can Make the Day

/, Birds, Davis County, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Utah/Male American Kestrel Resting and Preening – One Good Bird Can Make the Day

Male American Kestrel restingMale American Kestrel resting – Nikon D500, f5.6, 1/1000, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I have mentioned before how one good bird can make a day and yesterday that bird was a male American Kestrel resting and preening at Farmington Bay WMA. It was slow for birds yesterday morning at Farmington, I only saw a few Bald Eagles and those were from a distance, Farmington isn’t anything like it used to be for eagles in February, that much is for sure.

But having a cooperative American Kestrel made it worth going out into the field. Kestrels here are more cooperative when it is colder because they are sticky and while it was warm for winter here yesterday this one was sticky, relaxed and very cooperative.

American Kestrel male standing on one footAmerican Kestrel male standing on one foot – Nikon D500, f5.6, 1/1000, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

He might have been sticky because he was resting or he might have been sticky because he wanted to preen the blood off of his feathers and feet from his most recent meal.

Male American Kestrel perched on a rock at Farmington BayMale American Kestrel perched on a rock at Farmington Bay – Nikon D500, f5.6, 1/1000, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Whatever the reason was that made him so cooperative I am glad it did. I haven’t had as many opportunities with American Kestrels as I would like this winter. I love these colorful little falcons.

American Kestrel male with a bloody footAmerican Kestrel male with a bloody foot – Nikon D500, f5.6, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Back in the early days of my photography I remember wanting to get high quality images of American Kestrels because I wanted to use them for references to paint from. I put aside my brushes and paints some time ago though because my passion for photography overcame my desire to paint and now I love getting images of these small falcons whenever I can.

American Kestrel male resting on a rockAmerican Kestrel male resting on a rock – Nikon D500, f5.6, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

This male preened and shook his feathers up while I photographed him and scratched his head with his talons a few times too.

Male American Kestrel all puffed upMale American Kestrel all puffed up – Nikon D500, f5.6, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Any day I can take images of American Kestrels is a good day. Being out in the field makes it a good day too because for a while all I focus on is the birds.

Life is good.

Mia

9 Comments

  1. Kirby Flanagan February 9, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Beautiful images Mia. This one certainly was cooperative. Around here they fly away as soon as you get anywhere near them.

    Kirby

  2. Utahbooklover February 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Wonderful images! It appears that the life of a predator is a bit messy.

  3. Stu February 9, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Gorgeous!
    Thanks very much, and best wishes.

  4. Patty Chadwick February 9, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Glad you got such great images…glad you got to see this little gem at all! They are in such serious, widespread decline…and will not get much help from the current anti-wildlife administration, a potentially tragiic combination…

  5. Glen Fox February 9, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Killer images of this delightful little Falcon Mia. They are getting hard to find, not alone get great images of.

  6. Marie Read February 9, 2017 at 7:01 am

    As a fellow photographer, any view of a kestrel that’s NOT on a utility line would make MY day!
    Nice shots.

  7. Stu February 9, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Great series of photyos and back story

  8. Kim February 9, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I’ve never seen this bird before. Love the images.

  9. Esther February 9, 2017 at 6:40 am

    A beautiful collection of images.. one of my favorite birds. Thanks!

Comments are closed.