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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

A Kestrel on the Bobolink Trail‏

January 21st, 2011 · No Comments

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When raptors spread their wings, they are especially impressive. So when I spotted an American Kestrel ahead of me as I walked down the Bobolink Trail in East Boulder early this afternoon, I took one photograph of it after another while I waited for it to take off. In fact I got off 30 shots before it finally lifted its big wings to fly away.

The Kestrel Waits

The Kestrel Waits

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The Kestrel Takes Off

The Kestrel Takes Off

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North America’s smallest falcon, the American Kestrel is also the most colorful raptor that I have photographed.

These photographs were a lucky break since I had the camera’s ISO settings cranked up far higher than usual — at 3,200, instead of the 100 to 800 setting that I almost always use. This kestrel was my first photo opportunity this afternoon, and I had forgotten to adjust the ISO setting after an unsuccessful attempt to shot the moon as it sank behind the Flatirons just before sunrise. As a result I was able to shoot the Kestrel at a very fast shutter speed (1/6400th of a second), letting me capture the beating wings without blur. While the field in the background is blurred, I wanted that effect so it wouldn’t detract from the focus on this colorful raptor.

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