A wing and tail stretch followed by an enthusiastic yawn.
These are older photos I took several years ago of a male American Kestrel during a trip to Bear River MBR. I’ve posted other photos of him in the past but these two are new to my blog.
1/4000, f/6.3, ISO 320, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in
As I approached him in my pickup he was wary of me (kestrels nearly always are) but he didn’t fly off and he soon settled down and became much more relaxed. Eventually he performed this leisurely and photogenic wing and tail stretch. The setting is busy and I wasn’t particularly close but I had good light on him and this is a pose I don’t get very often from kestrels.
1/5000, f/6.3, ISO 320, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in
For a while I thought he might go to sleep on me but this enthusiastic yawn was about as close as he came. Eventually he took off to harass a Rough-legged Hawk perched on a nearby fence post but I missed the takeoff shots.
I actually photographed this same male kestrel in nearly the same spot in this same tree on three consecutive trips to Bear River MBR within eight days. I became so accustomed to seeing him there, nearly two years later I still look for him every time I drive past the tree.
Note: Apologies for not posting to my blog for the last three days. Inclement weather and a scarcity of birds have put me in a tailspin, from which I hope to recover later this week when our weather is supposed to improve.
Autor Ron Dudley