American Kestrel and Red-tailed Hawk

I have a slight remnant of the cold that has been beating me up for nearly two weeks. I also have the urge to go out and take some photographs. Mind you, it’s not like I’m running short on photographs. Quite the opposite, in fact; I have a huge backlog.

However, even as I go through past photos, process them for new blog posts, I get the urge to pick up the camera, to flex my index finger, to freeze time.

Plus, I’ve been feeding my readers stuff from last year . . . they deserve an occasional timely offering.

. . . so today I went for a drive on some of the back roads near me . . .


It’s winter, but the temperatures have been in the high 50s and even low 60s. Hence, no photogenic snow adorns the landscape. Maybe next week.

I’ve posted photos of Yucca Plants before (HERE), and even used it in some of my Still Life  work (HERE), but seeing as there was nothing moving out there, I snapped the following.

Yucca Plant

Literally, there was nothing out there. I did not see birds flying, antelope cavorting, moose lumbering along, coyotes loping . . . nothing.

I came to a favorite small pond of mine (favorite because I can get to it; most are on private property and not accessible), and snapped away at some cattails.


I bet you’re feeling sorry for me, right? I mean, cattails are fine, but there is a limit to how much they can enthrall someone.


I could say they are fuzzy caterpillar-kabobs, as they do in fact resemble such.



Actually, I just like them as cattails.


The pond normally has lots of bird activity, but alas, it was frozen over.


I know . . . looks like water, but it’s ice. Given the warm weather, the ice is a testament to how cold the prior two weeks were (in the minus teens in the daytime).

So, by now you feel depressed . . . unless you read the title.

American Kestrel,

The American Kestrel has eluded me for a loooong time. This is the first clear photo I ever taken of the bird, and it’s a close crop of a much larger photo.

American Kestrel,

These are very cagey birds. They just don’t let you get close. These photos were shot with me leaning slightly out of the car window, and the car rolling slowly onward, trying to get close (I was on a semi-deserted dirt road, and pulled to the side).

American Kestrel,

Even so, the bird repeatedly flew off before I got close, but it just went farther on along the road. By the way, this is also the first good in-flight shot I ever captured of this bird.

And it wasn’t the only one . . .

American Kestrel, American Kestrel, American Kestrel,

I’m very pleased with these, despite the small size (these are 1:1 crops – he was a long way off when I shot these).

Well, not a wasted drive. By the time I snapped these my wife had returned home, so I headed back.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Would have made good time too, if it weren’t for this fellow. A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. He too did not like me snapping photos, and did not let me get close, so these too are close crops of larger photos.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Here he’s looking for another perch . . . 

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

. . . he turns into the wind, and he takes off . . . 

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Then he gives me a “look” before heading to a few poles down the line.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Rather than move the car, I walked along the road to his new location, keeping from looking at the bird as I got closer. When I was close enough to ensure some semblance of a decent shot, I raised the camera, and continued advancing slowly.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

HEY!! . . . he crapped on my name! 

Actually, that is a sign they are about to take flight. Very convenient for a photographer wanting to capture the actual launch from the pole.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Nice. I kept shooting as it took off, this time heading away from the road.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

All in all, not a bad haul for a short drive. 

For them who want to see a few more photos, the SmugMug gallery is HERE.

I will do my best to clear my backlog as I have many ideas for other posts. Meanwhile, I hope this was a fun diversion.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to:


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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Should you still nominate me, I will strongly suspect you pulled my name at random, and that you are not, in fact, a reader of my blog.  If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards          About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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12 Responses to American Kestrel and Red-tailed Hawk

  1. oneowner says:

    The Hawk in flight is an amazing shot. Amazing!


  2. sandra getgood says:

    Magnificent pictures of the red-tail! And of the kestrel, too…. have never seen one live, and those photographs are remarkable, particularly the one where you can see the gleam in his eye.


    • disperser says:

      Kestrels have been frustrating me for years. I had a number of attempts at getting decent photos of them, and they don’t let you get close.

      I was worried about these photos because I shot them from a moving car, but was pleasantly surprised when I processed them.

      Now, if I could only get a couple of Kestrels hovering . . .


  3. colonialist says:

    Magic shots. I am in awe.
    For the first ones, I prefer the caterpillar whimsy.


  4. seekraz says:

    Beautiful bird images, Emilio. I rather like the cat-tails, too…hadn’t seen them since I was probably seven or eight, until I moved to Utah…and now I know where to find them. :)


  5. The bird images are fabulous. I can only dream of taking such great shots.


  6. AnnMarie says:

    I really like the full shot of the cat-tails and the kestrel is a real treat. Went to SmugMug to see them in Original . . . one can’t go wrong there. Stunning detail! Well done, E!


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