Nature clicks #203 - American Kestrel

American Kestrel  

The photo of this American Kestrel is already a week old. Any time I can make a better image of a particular bird or other critter than the last one before I feel that I climbed the ladder one step up. My post “Nature clicks #197” in February was the first time I was able to show a picture of the kestrel but I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the shot (click HERE to see the older photo). Improvements in wildlife photography don’t come to you automatically. You may have to try over and over again. I really searched for kestrels during my little evening or weekend trips and finally got a better, although not perfect, shot of this wonderful falcon. I still had to crop the image. They like to sit high up on power lines along the roads and most of the time fly away as soon the car stops. A lot of things have to come together to make these kind of clicks. If I see one and it is on the passenger side of the car, I turn around and approach the bird from the other direction. If you try this make sure nobody is behind you! I have the camera in my lap and it is turned on already. I take it in my hands while still rolling, stop the car, focus through the open window, and finally fire the shutter release button. If you are lucky the bird gives you a few seconds but quite often they take off as soon the car comes to a stand still. I’m sure you can’t do this in downtown Chicago ;-) but on the small county roads and gravel roads we have here in Iowa I feel comfortable to work this way. However, having an eye on the road and in the rearview mirror all the time is essential for your own safety and the safety of others.