Quick Kestrel — Feb. 2023

American Kestrel

This a quick post with photos I snapped about a week ago. That’s an American Kestrel (Northern). As far as cagey and difficult-to-photograph birds go, Kestrels rank up there.

I usually see them as I’m driving, perched on wires that run right alongside the road. They don’t seem to mind cars and trucks driving by, but if you stop — even 50 yards away — they take note, and before you can say, “Please don’t go! Pretty please?” they bolt.

You can see it eyeing me . . .

. . . and there he goes . . .

Now, since — duh! — they’re blessed with birdbrains, they don’t travel far; they just move to a spot on the same wire but further away.

Now, it appears as if these photos are shot from fairly close . . . au contraire, mes chers lecteurs. Here’s what a photo from the camera looks like:

And that’s at 450mm effective zoom.

So, how are these photos so large?

Well, that’s where DxO PureRAW, Topaz GigaPixel, Luminar AI, and Lightroom come in.

PureRAW cleans up the image, GigaPixel doubles its size and sharpens it, Luminar AI processes, and Lightroom crops the enlarged file so that the bird can be seen a bit better.

There is no SmugMug Gallery to view because these are not good enough to view at 100% resolution. The above images are still pretty large (1600 x 1200 pixels), and that’s the size you’ll see if you click on them, but zooming in any more than that isn’t adding anything to the experience.

So, click on the image if you want a larger version, or scroll through the gallery below at full screen, but, basically, what you see is what you get.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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