This female American Kestral must be on house-arrest, as she is clearly rockin’ the human-mandated bird jewelry. I have mixed feelings on banding birds. Yes, we can band them and learn all that we can from the process, and hopefully improve on their well being (which was likely degraded by us in the first place), but at the same time we are taking something from the truly wild and free nature of these creatures. I mean really…how would you like it if the Jolly Green Giant decided to throw a band on you for life, so he could track you to find where you planted the beans at? I don’t think you would like it at all! Ok, rant out of the way – 🙂
I managed to capture this Kestral as she left her perch en route to snatching breakfast, which I was unable to get a picture of. American Kestrals are the smallest Hawk (or Falcon) in North America. They are incredibly fast fliers, so I had to ensure that I had a really fast shutter speed to freeze action. This image was photographed with a Canon 1D Mk4 and 500mm f/4 lens @ f/5.6, 1/2500 sec., ISO 400.
To view a large version, click the thumbnail below.