Thursday, February 21, 2019

Two different American Kestrel photos

I was able to photograph two kestrels in January.

The first in Carlsbad was a bit distant, so I only shot a short burst. It turned out well for the distance.

For some reason I couldn't get sharp focus on the bird at Imperial Beach against the busy background. I was within 60 feet. I adjusted shutter speed between 1/400 and 1/2000 second. I concentrated on holding steady. I ended up taking over 100 shots, but just couldn't get it to focus sharply. Only one seemed good enough. I present it below. Fortunately, the bird was hunting fence lizards on an old piling and remained for over 10 minutes. That's why it was so frustrating that I couldn't obtain focus.

American Kestrel. Carlsbad, California
American Kestrel. Carlsbad, California. January 4, 2019.
f/5.6 1/800 sec. ISO-100
American Kestrel. Imperial Beach, California
American Kestrel. Imperial Beach, California. January 20, 2019.
f/7.1 1/1000 sec. ISO-800
More photos of American Kestrels in San Diego from eBird. Click on the photos to rate (1 awful, 2 poor but identifiable, 3 average or small, 4 very good, 5 magazine cover worthy).

1 comment:

  1. Nice picture! One of these guys, or actually 'gals,' as it was larger and no blue on it, so presumably female, once landed on my apartment porch railing right outside my window in downtown San Diego a few years back. I live on the top floor, and was just going about my day, when suddenly this unusual visitor lands outside on the railing. She was probably about 3-4 feet from me, and was able to get a good look at her, and definitely could tell it was NOT a normal city bird. I then went to grab my phone to take a picture of her and get a closer look, but right when I got up to the window, she must have saw me, as she quickly flew off. But then she just went across the street to the roof of the apartment complex across from me, so I was hoping to get a picture of from farther away, but as I tried to zoom in, my phone camera took too long to bring the bird into focus, and she then swooped down really fast and grabbed a little lizard off the sidewalk with her feet talons. Because it all happened really fast, and my phone camera sucked, I couldn't get a good picture, and then she flew off into the distance never to be seen again... I kinda couldn't believe what I presumed to be either a falcon or hawk would be hanging out in downtown SD, but then when I checked online and looked up pictures of various birds of prey species around the county, I discovered the bird I saw was definitely a female American Kestrel falcon. I really wish I got a picture of her, but cool to see others around the county have, and willing to share.

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