Female Common Kestrel in Flight

Female Common Kestrel in Flight

Kestrels are small falcons, with incredible flight abilities. They're probably my favorite raptors in Israel. Kestrels are able, using rapid wing movement, to hover in a single spot in the air, while looking for prey (small rodents, usually, but also large insects and the occasional smaller bird) below. This photo shows a female Common Kestrel (females can be distinguished from the males by being a bit larger, and having the same brown-black dotted pattern on their heads as on the rest of the body, whereas the males have grey heads) in such a hover, carefully scanning the ground below. She was just a few meters above ground, with me being really close by on higher ground, so this is a perfect side view and demonstrates what this would look like on eye level.

What do I like about this photo? The unconventional point of view - usually we see Kestrels from various lower angles when they're in flight. This photo shows a side view - what a Kestrel would see, in essence. The amount of detail is huge (please zoom in). She was close by and wasn't bothered by my presence at all (I actually stopped further away from her but she flew closer after a couple of minutes).

What would I want to improve? Eye contact might have helped the photo. But then, this would be less of a natural moment (Kestrel scanning the ground below for prey).


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