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American Kestrel

American Kestrel
Photo Information
Copyright: angela LL (angela926) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 470 W: 19 N: 798] (3083)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40 D, EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Great Portraits Part Two, Falcons - III chapter [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-05-24 18:02
Viewed: 3811
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An American Kestrel at the wertheim WIldlife Refuge in Shirley New York.

Perhaps the most colorful raptor in the world, the American Kestrel is the most common falcon in North America. It is found from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, and in towns as well as wild lands.

Small hawk.
Rufous back and tail.
Two dark mustache marks on face.

Size: 22-31 cm (9-12 in)
Wingspan: 51-61 cm (20-24 in)
Weight: 80-165 g (2.82-5.82 ounces)
Sex Differences
Male has blue-gray wings and a lightly spotted chest and belly. The larger female has rufous wings barred with black, and streaking on the chest.

Loud series of "klee-klee-klee" notes when excited.

topConservation Status
Increased greatly with historical deforestation of North America. No significant trend across North America, but some local increases and decreases.

Other Names
Crécerelle d'Amérique (French)
Cernícalo chitero (Spanish)

Cool Facts

Although hover-hunting is conspicuous, this foraging method actually is used rather infrequently. It is used most often when suitable perches are not available, or when winds are strong enough to create updrafts favorable to hovering.

In winter in many southern parts of the range, female and male American Kestrels use different habitats. The female uses the preferred more open habitat, and the male uses areas with more trees. This situation appears to be the result of the females migrating south first and establishing winter territories. The males then are forced into the less preferred areas.

Nestling kestrels back up, raise their tails, and squirt feces onto the walls of the nest cavity. The feces dry on the cavity walls and stay off the nestlings. The nest gets to be a smelly place, with feces on the walls and uneaten parts of small animals on the floor.

this kestrel is in captivity due to an injury.

writerscrawlz, eqshannon, marhowie, Dis. Ac., hester, elizabeth, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

This is a superb portrait of a kestrel. I love the tiny details, the texture of his feathers, catchlight in EACH eye, and the sharpness of his beak. The exposure is excellent, but mostly, you did an wonderful job with the composition, including the framing.

Gotta laugh just a bit. It looks so much like a mug shot from the old days in the post office...Wanted! And Kestrel, I have seen them, sounds like Jesse James...for robbery! Fine shot...and all of this from NY!:-) You are in need of a Senator:-)

Bonjour Angela
Belle présentation et belle prise en portrait de vue avec ce bel oiseau,les couleurs et la nettetée sont très bonnes, belle composition .
Au revoir et félicitation ....JP

hello angella,
lovely portarit shot, i liked the pov and the composition, good details of the plumage,
well done,
tfs & regards

Great color, detail, and exposure Angela,
I like the in-your-face comp :)
Well done & TFS!

Hello Angela,

great portrait picture, razor shaep with a lots of detail and natural colours.


Hi Angela
He certainly is colourful and what a great post you have him in....looking straight down the barrel! I love his eyes and the beautiful warm colours you have captured.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2008-05-25 2:07]

Bonjour Angela,

Superbe gros plan de cet oiseau. Bravo pour les détails et couleurs.
Merci pour le partage.

a very fine one Angela
a very nice portrait here, good details and very nice sharpnes, very good photojob, have a nice day.
gr. jaap

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2008-05-25 11:34]

Hi Angela,

Great portrait shot of the Kestral.
I like the tight crop and a its a great POV.
Nice sharp details and lovely colours.



That's an excellent portrait. Its vivid, with great colors, detail, nice background and composition. Wonderful work. Thanks for the interesting note.

Best Regards,


Hi Angela.
Lovely portrait shot!! I have not seen one b4 and this is a great Macro of his head..
TFS.. Enjoyed your notes too..

Best regards

Great photo! Great document!

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-05-26 11:18]

hello angela
wonderful portrait photo and nice pose
composition, POV, DOF, BG, light, colours, sharpness and details are great


  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-05-28 11:38]

Hi Angela

I love the direct face on stare, wonderfully symmetrical. Lovely sharp details and perfect exposure. It really is a lovely portrait.



  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-05-29 7:52]

Hello angela, can't be much closer than that! Well done on this great portrait of the Kestrel, very very good, thanks!


Beautifully sharp with wonderful detail. I like the symmetry of the bird's pose, they way you have composed your shot as a portrait and the subtlety of the OOF background. Well done!

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-31 20:10]

Hello Angela

Amazing portrait shot.
The pov and dof are wonderful.
Excellent eye contact.
The plumage details and colours are terrific.
Great job.


gorgeous bird, and such a wonderful details, nice close up

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-06-05 23:12]

Hi Angela.
What a great close-up portrait of the wonderful bird. I am impressed with applied exposure parameters (first of all I mean aperture value) and excellent use of flash. Expression of bird's eyes is great as well as the terrific sharpness and details. I also like light and absolutely smooth BG. Bravo and best wishes.

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2008-08-08 23:42]

Merhaba Angela,
Model bu kadar güzel olunca portre de haliyle bu kadar hoş oluyor. Başarılı bir çalışma.

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