American Kestrel – The Big Stretch

Within about 10 seconds this male kestrel gave me just about every conceivable stretching pose in the book.


american kestrel 0740b ron dudley1/4000, f/7.1, ISO 800, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

I found him yesterday morning at Farmington Bay WMA. He was in good light and close but he was at the top of a tree so the angle on the bird was steep – too steep for pleasing images in most cases so I’ll be deleting many of my photos of this cooperative little falcon. However, for this particular pose he leaned far forward which visually mitigated the steepness of the angle and I like the result.

I considered removing the two twigs poking into the frame at lower right but in the end chose not to. My ISO setting was a mistake for this situation but I was hoping for a take-off shot so I was set up for fast shutter speeds.

I like the excellent eye contact, the wing position, the widely spread tail and the raised and splayed right foot. I wish I had a few puffy white clouds in the sky to break up the blue background but that just didn’t happen. I don’t think I’ll complain much about it either.


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