Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

Stephen Barnard is busy documenting the pair of American kestrels (Falco sparverius) occupying a nest box he put on his garage. Today we have photos and a video, with Stephen’s notes indented:

For two days I’ve been trying to get an in-flight shot of a kestrel flying into or out of the nest box. The plan is to set the camera up on a tripod, record 4K video, and crop the photo from a frame. It’s been very difficult. I’ve tried many different camera and lens combinations and locations, shutter speeds, exposures, and so on. Getting sharp focus and no or little motion blur is a challenge.The settings are manual everything. This is my best result so far, but I expect to do better now that I’ve found the right combination.

Another one of Natasha on the wing:

Here’s a link to a funny video. A European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) lands on the nest box, no doubt looking for a nest site (they’re cavity nesters), and gets a rude surprise when she sees Natasha. I’ve recorded two other occasions when starlings landed on the nest box hole. As soon as they see Natasha face-to-face they freak out.

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) and in all likelihood a Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Here’s a link to a video I recorded years ago (with primitive gear) of a Great Blue Heron eating something bigger:

5 Comments

  1. David Coxill
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Wow ,great pics of the Kestrels .
    Starlings used to nest under the roof ,the last 2 years Jackdaws have taken over their nesting site .

  2. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Excellent stuff, especially the startled starling! Here is a strange story about the introduction of the starling into N. America:

    “After two failed attempts, about 60 common starlings were released in 1890 into New York’s Central Park by Eugene Schieffelin. He was president of the American Acclimatization Society, which reportedly tried to introduce every bird species mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare into North America, although this has been disputed.

    About the same date, the Portland Song Bird Club released 35 pairs of common starlings in Portland, Oregon. These birds became established but disappeared around 1902. Common starlings reappeared in the Pacific Northwest in the mid-1940s and these birds were probably descendants of the 1890 Central Park introduction. The original 60 birds have since swelled in number to 150 million, occupying an area extending from southern Canada and Alaska to Central America.”

    That all reads as very fishy, but that’s WIKI

  3. Jenny Haniver
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Those are lovely shots of the kestrels. I especially like the dorsal feather patterns of the wings in the first shot.

    I cracked up at the freaked-out starling and I’m sure glad the heron got that gopher down its hatch. I’d imagine that they must be pretty vulnerable to predators themselves during the time they’re swallowing their large prey.

  4. jaxkayaker
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic kestrel shots. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Posted May 6, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Natasha startling the starling.


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