A portrait of Three Young Kestrels


The babes peeking out from the nest

Where I used to live there was a hole in the eave, and it turned out to be the perfect size and shape for kestrels to make a nest in. You see, they are cavity nesters, and like to find a hole of just the right size and shape to make their nests (luckily it doesn’t have to be a huge hole, as they are the smallest of my local falcons). They are well protected this way. Being on the small side for a raptor, they need the help that they can get to stay safe.

As you may have guessed, this gave me some good opportunities to take photographs of the chicks once they got large enough to start poking their heads out of the nest. The year that I took these photos the parents were able to raise three girls. This photo is of those three girls the day before they fledged (maybe in a few days I will show some photos of them fledging…)


P.S. If you want a little help learning to identify kestrels, you can look at these two posts-
Female Kestrels in flight
Identifying Kestrels

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website- www.galenleeds.net
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12 Responses to A portrait of Three Young Kestrels

  1. Victor Ho says:

    Wow. Great photo opportunity. Nicely done.

  2. Pam says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Both the hotos and the birds. You inspire me to keep trying to learn to take better photos. Hopefully, one day my shots will only dull a little when compared to yours.

    • Thank you Pam. The best way to get better at taking photos is to do so regularly (and to view your images on a slide projector or a computer screen right afterwards so that you can learn from what you did). If you keep spending time out on your kayaks and in nature, I am sure you will end up with more and more beautiful images.

  3. gagarden says:

    I know how wrong it is, but I would have a hard time leaving them alone. They are just so cute that small. Nice close up.

    • I definitely had a hard time leaving them alone, but at least they became used to me as I would garden, etc., which allowed me to shoot the occasional shot. If I’d focused too much on the kestrels, the parents would very likely have abandoned the nest, leaving me with zero opportunity for taking more photos of them. And I’m glad you like the close up.

  4. I have always been fascinated by birds of prey. Thank you for sharing your experience. Incredible photo!

  5. mike585 says:

    Nice post, Galen, and a good photo opportunity.

  6. Mark Goodwin says:

    Absolutely gorgeous photo.

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