Prairie Falcon

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday last I had the pleasure of Dali, and Rainey’s company for a few hours of birding.

We headed south about an hour from home hoping to spot Golden Eagles. We hadn’t gone too far down a country road when I spied a falcon on top of a telephone pole. I quickly pulled over and turned off the car so we could take photos without the vibration of the engine.

None of us was positive about the bird’s ID at the time, but we were excited because we knew it was a bird  we hadn’t seen before. Here’s how it looked when I first saw it.

First look at a Prarie FalconWith both Rainey and I clicking away we spooked it and he planned to flee the scene.

Ready for Take Off!

Ready for Take-Off!Take off!

Take Off!In Flight—

Prairie Falcon In FlightI was thrilled when I uploaded the images to find I had captured the whole sequence of flight on film. Upon closer look I thought this might have been a juvenile Kestrel, but Rainey confirmed it is a Prairie Falcon. A first for the 3 of us.

We also saw two Golden Eagles, which were flying away from us too fast to capture a photo. Later we saw a Bald Eagle sitting in a tree. Dali got the POD (Picture of the Day) as he got a good image of it.  I wish I could show you, but at the time of this writing he hadn’t posted it yet.   I was too slow to get the car parked, and out so, I missed the shot. When it got spooked and took flight another Bald Eagle took off with it. We hadn’t seen that one due to tree cover.

We saw this Loggerhead Shrike sitting on a wire. We hoped it would spot something good to eat and dive for it, alas it never did.

Loggerhead ShrikeWe also saw this pretty little Savannah Sparrow—X Marks the Spot:

X Marks the SpotSavannah Sparrow: Closer Look–

Savannah Sparrow Close UpOther birds of note that we saw were: A Red-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-billed Magpie; (see Rainey’s image here) White Crown Sparrows, Acorn Woodpeckers, and Red-tail Hawks.

It was good birding. I hope to get out there again this week-end. With luck I’ll see the Eagles again.

All photos were taken with a Nikon D300s and AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 lens

7 thoughts on “Prairie Falcon

          1. Hi Deborah; We are in Southern California and no snow day temps are in the 80’s. I think after we leave here we will go into New Mexico and then head North up through Utah and Nevada

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