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For Dotch.

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Did your Kestrel pay me a visit? wink I just noticed that yours has more color, especially in the back of the head. I assume one is the male and one is the female. I'm going to need to check this out.

According to the Sibley Field Guide and Stokes Field Guide, my kestrel is a female and yours is a male, which will tend to the nest. Then again, maybe mine is just younger. I dunno.


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Did one show up in your yard? Yeah, the color on the head could throw a person for a loop. The wings on the model I was holding were totally brown which tends to make me think it's a female. I suspect like most critters, there is some genetic and possibly phenotypic variation due to environmental conditions, etc., which sometimes makes pictures deceiving, not only with birds but lots of other organisms as well. More info to confuse things from Cornell:


The picture in #4 of the 8 ID pics probably most accurately resembles the bird in the nesting box.

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I was concentrating more on the head. I admit, I'm plenty weak regarding the ID of raptors.

Also, I need to come clean. I consider this a cheat (cheap) shot. This was a captive from the raptor center at a sportsman's show last weekend. I would normally never take a pic of something out of it's environment, but I was afraid it might be my only opportunity of ever getting a decent shot of one. I argued with myself before taking my camera out. The pic was taken indoors so it took a bit of doctoring up of the background. whistle I'll never show it anywhere else. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I would stoop this low. blush Oh well, I'm hoping for more authentic shots in the future.

Here is a tip. Whenever you run across a pic of a raptor that doesn't show the whole body, the shot was probably taken in a controlled environment with leg straps on or sitting on something unnatural. smile

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Well, quite honestly Mike in the pic I posted there was a lot more of my glove showing than there was of the kestrel's wing so don't beat yourself up too bad. I am no photographer. See your last comment in your previous post. smile I'm no raptor expert either and would venture to guess few who frequent these forums are. However, I'm interested and enjoy learning about them. I find that the best learning environment at least for me over the years has been one where egos are parked at the door and ideas are exchanged openly sans sarcasm or derogatory remarks. It's a little like the old country school format: We learn together. BTW, I never went to country school; they closed it about 2 years before I was old enough to attend. Oddly enough I sure heard about how tough it was walking uphill 2 miles both ways in snowstorms though. grin

I really don't mind seeing some pics of birds taken in an environment sometimes other than a natural one either. From a photographer's standpoint, I understand why a person would like to present the bird in its' native habitat. Again though, since Minnesota is geographically such a huge and diverse state, there are those of us who don't live in the "birding hotspots" or areas where some of these birds are common. I just appreciate that someone has taken the time to post their photos here. The way I see it, looking at those birds I've rarely or never seen, even if they're at a feeder or in a situation some might deem "unnatural" is still better than me never seeing them at all. smile

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