The Travels of Tug 44

American Kestrel - Sparrow Hawk

The American Kestrel, also known as the Sparrow Hawk, is a small falcon that preys on insects, lizards, mice and small birds including Sparrows, hence the name Sparrow Hawk. It is the fiercest (and cutest) little birdie in the Fort Edward Grasslands.   high-res

American Kestrels are a bit shy, so it's necessary to sneak up on them very slowly. This male is spreading his tail to show it off to me. The V-shaped mark on his tail is just the shadow of his wing tips.   high-res

I got this and the next photo of a captive male Sparrow Hawk at the 2014 Winter Raptor Fest in Fort Edward NY, a local event where many predatory birds are shown. The blue-gray wings indicate it's a male, the females have brownish wings.   high-res

The American Kestrel has beautiful coloration, and this one kept showing off for me. Beautiful little birdies.   high-res

I took this photo on Christmas Day 2016, a male American Kestrel / Sparrow Hawk sitting on a wire.   high-res

I was able to drive very close to the bird, and took the shot thru the gap between my car's windshield and the lifted convertible top. This method allows me to have something like a rolling duck blind and I can get a lot closer ... but they fly pretty soon anyway, but I got the launch! Love those colors!   high-res

January 21 2017, I spotted this Sparrow Hawk on a pole in Fort Edward. I was blessed with excellent photo conditions that day.   high-res

To my amazement, this Kestrel did not fly away as I approached, though he did move to a branch on a nearby tree. And he started posing for me, and showing off his beautiful red tail, and a bit of his wings.   high-res

And in case that wasn't enough he also spread his tail for me.   high-res

During the 10 minutes I was photograhing him, he kept his eye on me the entire time.   high-res

... and off he flies!   high-res

October 2018 - Spotted this little guy sitting on a fence post in a hay field, munching on something. And his lunch turned out to be a small snake! Yumm!   high-res

The American Kestrel or Sparrow Hawk ... one of the prettiest little birdies out there.

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