Saturday, February 27, 2010
American Kestrel's Successful Hunt on the former TCAAP
Today was a bright sunny day, but not a great day by photography standards with the harsh overhead light. However, I've found that it's very difficult to capture shots of raptors in the evening so I go out in the early afternoon anyway. I put a circular polarizer on my 70-300mm Nikkor zoom and grabbed my brand new Manfrotto Monopod for a walk on the relatively new trail along Rice Creek on the west side of the old Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant.
There wasn't much to see until I came across this Kestrel. I saw a pair of them hunting last fall in this area so it wasn't completely unexpected. This is a male American kestrel. You can tell it's a male by it's vibrant bluish gray color. I saw this guy from far away on a telephone pole. Within a minute or so, he flew off and crashed into the ground. I couldn't quite see where he landed so no shots of that. Soon he took off towards another pole with a prize in his claws. It was most likely a mouse. Kestrels are very small falcons so rabbits and squirrels are probably way too big for them. These shots had to be severely cropped in order to see the bird so no poster sized prints. If only I would have had this lens...but then again I probably wouldn't have been hauling that behemoth on a long walk.
This set looks particularly great when you do the full screen slide show. Hit the four dot square in the lower right of the screen once you start the show.