Monday, December 28, 2009

American Kestrel

This was an unexpected sighting. It's the 28th of December in the Texas panhandle. The temps have been staying near or below freezing long enough for park lakes to be frozen over. While out looking for some bird shots so I could post here again (about time!), I happened to notice two American Kestrels hunting a field about 200 yards from each other - one at each corner. I had to do a double-take. Kestrels in the panhandle this time of year? I expected that they would all be well south of here this time of year. After re-checking my range maps in the books I use as references, I see that their winter range can extend far north into Canada. So, surprise was a bit unwarranted. Kestrels are definitely a pleasure to see and watch.

This one was the first of two and perched on this wire for a long time, letting me take all the shots I wanted. I didn't pressure this Kestrel to the point it would leave. It was such a great opportunity, I didn't want to throw it away.

This was the second one I photographed. I inched as close as I could, but unfortunately nervousness gave way to flight.

(See more Kestrel photos and info HERE.)