American Kestrel Close-ups


How fortunate for me to see almost daily American Kestrels flying across or sitting on wires, watching over the local farm fields for their next meal.

As soon as you spot one in the distance, they’ve already seen you and quickly take flight.  Then it becomes a “can I get a flight shot?”  Usually no, they are such super fast falcons.  So for me to get a photo of one either perched or in flight is pretty special.

And then it happened.  I got lucky, truly lucky.  I was on a rural country road, and ahead there sat a male Kestrel up on the wire to my left.  He stayed put as I pulled right up alongside and took a dozen shots.  He moved twice giving me two profiles.


American Kestrel (male)


American Kestrel (male)


I quickly moved on before I had another vehicle pull up on me, all while the American Kestrel stayed perched.  I couldn’t believe it didn’t take flight!

Here’s a crop both photos above to share some close-ups of this little falcon’s gorgeous coloring and cute little face.


American Kestrel (male)


American Kestrel (male)


After having just fulfilled and posted another one of my “Five On The Wire” series, I couldn’t put these shots aside to wait for the next series.  I felt this handsome fella deserved his own post right here and now!  😊


68 thoughts on “American Kestrel Close-ups

  1. Wow, those are fabulous captures, Donna! What a wonderful experience to see one sit still, I’ve followed more than one in vain as it was just scooting ahead of us.

    • They are so small and so gorgeous, I love spotting them around. Thanks, glad you noticed the little ‘hearts’ on his chest too! I don’t think I’ve ever seen ‘them’ before. 🙂

    • Thank you, Eliza! Right now, I am so lucky in seeing a lot of them. I’m not sure if this is normal or part of the migration down the Chesapeake fly-way. Either way, I’m loving it!

  2. Wow! Beautiful detail in these lovely birds. It can’t really be appreciated until you get a close up look. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a joy to see the beautiful markings of the this male American Kestrel, Donna. They are such a colorful bird, with incredible hunting skills, and a true pleasure to observe. Your photos are a real treat, thank you.

    • Thank you, Jet! They are a gorgeous falcon to see, zipping across the fields, loving those wires to watch for their next meal. Then seeing one of ‘us’ and zipping away again! 😊

  4. The detail of the feathers, and oh! those colors and special markings. Like little hearts marching down the chest. That 3rd one of the male is utterly gorgeous. What a fierce little Dude! Oh, and then he gives you the other profile. These are simply breathtaking! Easy to see why you couldn’t wait to post these! 😊 You’re definitely a paid up member of the bird whisperer club!

    This little one is a favorite of mine. I was barely beginning to recognize a few birds off and on… they are so adorable! There was this one fence along the road to the grocery store in Utah where I’d often see the kestrels. Eventually I was prompted to go digging  for an ID. I’m thinking this little one may have added to a growing interest in our feathered friends.

    I’ll second what Tom said ahead of me….

    • Thank you very much, Gunta! When I saw my first kestrel years ago, I couldn’t believe seeing such a colorful little bird, and was thrilled learning what it was! We have these year-round, but for the past month, I’ve been seeing so many of them, I’m not sure if some are migrating through or there are THAT many here. Either way, I am enjoying just watching them. They are a wonderful tease! 😊

  5. Oh, they are beautiful. I had the opportunity to photograph a captive in a natural seen once and I will never forget it! Love the sharpness and catch-light in its eyes.

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