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The smallest Raptor in America

The smallest and most brilliantly-plumaged bird of prey on the continent: the American Kestrel. This tiny raptor makes its home here in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and throughout other parts of the country.

Kestrels are smart, fast, and feathered in rusty red, slate blue and enough speckles and trimmings to delight the most avid bird-watchers among us. They’re so fast and elusive that I’ve never been able to get a clear picture of one! Occasionally you might spot a kestrel perched on a power line near a meadow or farmer’s field, but stopping to roll down your window is a dealbreaker for these little birds! Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time hidden under a half-rotted tree on the edge of a mountain meadow observing this male kestrel hunting with its mate.

Of course, being a typical “golden hour” photographer I was hoping for some warm colors at the end of the day. This picture is a testament to the beautiful dusk I got to share with the feisty little falcon, watching it take off and soar through the trees on the edge of a swamp and dive-bomb unsuspecting field mice. By the way, if you’re wondering what a “golden hour photographer” is, the term basically refers to nutty people like me who always miss breakfast and supper because that’s when the sunrise and sunset colors are golden and most colorful. Looking back through my pictures here on Facebook or my website, you’ll noticed I very seldom use my camera during blue-sky afternoons.

Anyway, I hope some of my “golden” photographs inspire some of you to miss a few more suppers and get out when the light is fading to perhaps experience and capture your own special moments like this.



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