I love these birds. But, they are very skittish, and I have found them difficult to photograph.

Kestrels are small birds, about the size of a Mourning Dove. In an urban environment they like to perch on electrical wires overlooking promising fields and vacant lots. But, because they are so wary of people they are very quick to fly away once they realize they have attracted your attention.

In most cases when I have been able to approach close enough for pictures, the kestrels have been high off the ground. This perspective allows only photographs of the kestrel’s underside, which is clearly not the bird’s best angle.

This series of photographs is of a rare exception. While this big female American Kestrel is perched at the very top of the tree she is on, the tree itself is relatively short. This allowed for a slightly better than normal angle for my photographs.

Not wanting to take any chances, I started taking pictures while I was still at a considerable distance. The female kestrel was more patient with me than normal, but she still decided to move on just as I felt I had reach the optimal proximity.

Later this same female was seen working to drive away a Red-tailed Hawk that had strayed into the general vicinity.

American Kestrel - Montage

American Kestrel - Montage

American Kestrel - Montage

American Kestrel - Montage

American Kestrel - Montage

American Kestrel - Montage