American Kestrel

Falco sparverius

American Kestrels are usually skittish and are not therefore generally approachable. Until this year (March 2009), the ones I've seen and photographed have either been far away or perched on telegraphic wires or poles. This particular male was very accommodating and four of us were able to get out of our vehicles, set up our cameras, and sit on the grassy bank along a busy highway and photograph it for slightly more than half an hour. During this time he posed, preened and wingstretched for us. As one of us remarked, this was like striking the lottery.