The Kestrel Family
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On Friday May 14th, the Huntsville Times ran an article about three Kestrel chicks that were found behind a boat store about a mile from my home.  The chicks were taken to the  Wildlife Center in Pelham, Al. given a clean bill of health and returned to Huntsville.  (You can read this article to see how the nest box came into play.) 

I almost killed myself getting to the boat store to ask permission to photograph the birds.  The people were all behind getting some pictures of their new mascots.

What I have observed since has been a lesson on parenting.  I have outlined a feeding cycle out of the photos I have taken.  The photos are not in the order that they were taken but placed in sequence to show a complete feeding cycle. 


The American Kestrel (Male)
(The smallest Falcon in North America)


The technical aspect of these photos isn't very good as I was using a 300mm lens with 1.4x & 2x tele-converters when I should have had a 600mm lens with 1.4x & 2x tele-converters.  I was also shooting in 3 very different light conditions, direct sunlight, shade and strong backlighting in an area of about 60 feet.  Add the small space to the speed of these falcons and it was a workout.  I am sure that other photographers could have done a better job but they were not there so these beautiful birds had to settle for me.  

The following photos and descriptions about what is happening in them is my interpretation of events.  I hope you enjoy the story that the photos tell.  I am very blessed to have had this opportunity.  I may never get a chance to see something like this again.   Ron