I photographed this American Kestrel With Wings Spread on December 31, 2022. I had arrived at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma just before sunrise. When I had enough light to photograph I began driving the auto tour road. I spotted this male American Kestrel on the right side of the road and as I drove past it; I saw it did not fly away. I turned my pickup around at the next intersection and drove back to the bird. I now had this bird on my side of the vehicle and I began photographing it. I could get this shot because it began grooming.
One of the most recognizable features of the American Kestrel is its outstretched wings. These birds can hover in mid-air by flapping their wings rapidly, a behavior known as kiting. This allows them to spot potential prey from a distance and make a swift descent to capture it. Their wingspan can reach up to 20 inches, which is impressive for a bird that weighs only 4 ounces.
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: RF 800mm F11 IS STM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: December 31, 2022 (8:48 A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f11
- Shutter speed: 1/250
- ISO: 1600 (Auto)
- White Balance: Auto
- Metering Mode: Evaluative
- Back-button Focus
- Animal Eye Single Point Auto Focus
- Exposure Compensation: +1/3 EV
- Focal Length: 800 mm