Connect With Me
Tony's Takes on Facebook Tony's Takes on Twitter Tony's Takes on Google+ Tony's Takes on Pinterest Tony's Takes RSS Feed
Photo Use Information
All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.
Archives

Prairie Falcon

Sideways Falcon flight

Normally I have pretty good luck getting pics of these ferocious raptors but this season they have been less than kind to me for some reason. Thankfully this Prairie Falcon took some mercy on me and gave me a nice departing capture, albeit with some cruddy lighting and skies.

These cool raptors can be found flying low to the ground searching for prey. They are extraordinarily maneuverable and very difficult to catch pics of in-flight although I have on occasion had some good luck. Prairie Falcons are not particular about their diet and will feed on smaller birds including larks, swallows and doves and will also feed on rodents including squirrels.

A Prairie Falcon takes flight over the plains of Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon takes flight over the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon enjoys Meadowlark for breakfast

I thought my photo day was done and had pointed my truck for home. About halfway there, I see a flurry of activity on a utility pole ahead and slow to take a closer look. Much to my delight I find a Prairie Falcon that had just snagged a Western Meadowlark and was preparing to dine on it.

The falcon wasn’t particularly comfortable with me being there but was hungry enough to tolerate my presence. Prairie Falcons are not very big but just as ferocious as any raptor, preferring to dine on smaller birds, oftentimes diving right into flocks and snatching their prey.

Scroll down to view the complete gallery.

A Prairie Falcon prepares to devour a Western Meadowlark. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon prepares to devour a Western Meadowlark. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon dines on another feathered creature

These raptors are extraordinary hunters, capable of snatching their preferred prey of smaller birds right out of the air. Larks, swallows and even doves can fall victim to the fast-moving, ferocious falcon.

One of these little birds became this particular falcon’s breakfast recently. I missed the actual kill but was able to capture some images of it as it quickly devoured its victim. Pretty fun stuff and a good example of predator and prey in nature.

Scroll down to view all the images from the encounter.

A Prairie Falcon swallows a bite of its breakfast. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon swallows a bite of its breakfast. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon puffs up on a chilly morning

With temperatures only in the teens, the weather early Saturday morning was not overly pleasant. My heart was quickly warmed though by spotting this awesome little raptor, only the second Prairie Falcon I have seen thus far this season and the first one to let me get a half-way decent picture of it. Certainly there will be many more opportunities in the coming months as they stake their claim to their winter grounds on the Colorado plains.

These cool raptors can be found flying low to the ground searching for prey. They are extraordinarily maneuverable and very difficult to catch pics of in-flight although I have on occasion had some good luck. Prairie Falcons are not particular about their diet and will feed on smaller birds including larks, swallows and doves and will also feed on rodents including squirrels.

A Prairie Falcon huddles against the cold while sitting on a fence post. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon huddles against the cold while sitting on a fence post. (© Tony’s Takes)

A frosty falcon

On a very cold morning this past January, a thick hoar frost covered the plains northeast of Denver. The seemingly warm, blue skies belied just how cold it was out there; conditions not fit for man or beast you might say.

Normally very active raptors, this little Prairie Falcon didn’t seem too keen to take to the skies in the cold. In fact, it was perfectly willing to pose for me as it sat perched on a frost-covered pole.

These cool raptors can be found flying low to the ground searching for prey. They are extraordinarily maneuverable and very difficult to catch pics of in-flight although I have on occasion had some good luck. Prairie Falcons are not particular about their diet and will feed on smaller birds including larks, swallows and doves and will also feed on rodents including squirrels.

A Prairie Falcon hangs out on a frost-covered pole northeast of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon hangs out on a frost-covered pole northeast of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon in flight keeping an eye on the camera

This little raptor provided me tons of entertainment over the winter and bunches of photo opportunities.

On this day the skies were gray and colorless so using a trick a fellow photographer taught me, I overexposed the picture a bit to create a ‘high key’ effect – making those gray skies turn white and really setting the subject off from them. I problem should have taken it up a bit brighter but it looks pretty good like this.

Taken February 6th in Adams County, Colorado.

A Prairie Falcon in flight on the Great Plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon in flight on the Great Plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon takes the Leap Day leap

This little raptor has been a continuous source of entertainment for me during the winter. It can be a bit hit or miss as to whether or not it will allow its picture taken but when it does, it performs beautifully.

On this particular day a few weeks ago, the falcon gave me some nice poses before following up with a leap and a flight. It’s jump into the air seems like a fitting image for Leap Day today.

Prairie Falcons are found across much of the western United States and Mexico. They prefer to dine on smaller birds, oftentimes diving right into flocks and snatching their prey.

You can check out more pics I have taken of these cool raptors here.

A Prairie Falcon leaps into the air from its perch on a utility pole. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon leaps into the air from its perch on a utility pole. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon Peek-a-Boo

Kind of a cute picture from a fun time with this little raptor. I spotted it on a utility pole but wires prevented me getting a good capture of it. I had pretty much given up but as I pulled ahead, I noticed the curious creature kept leaning forward, looking around the pole to watch me.

When I would point my camera, it would then try to ‘hide’ until I whistled at it and its curiosity got the best of it and it would lean forward again. We played the game a few times alternating it hiding, me whistling, and it looking out. 😉 Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

A Prairie Falcon tries to hide behind the pole it is perched on. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to hide behind the pole it is perched on. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to hide behind the pole it is perched on. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to hide behind the pole it is perched on. (© Tony’s Takes)

Head on with a Prairie Falcon

Sometimes getting pictures is a good measure of luck. This past Saturday my son and I would out looking for photo subjects when out of nowhere this falcon came flying straight at my truck. I slammed on the brakes (safely – it was a rural dirt road), threw open my truck door and started snapping away. Managed a nice series of images of it, these are some of the best.

This was my first day out shooting with my new Canon 7D Mark II and thus far have been quite impressed with it. It shoots at 10 frames per second which is just insane and perfect for birds in flight. Of course if you aren’t focused or have your exposure sent wrong, you do just get 10 frames per second of junk. 😉  I’m really looking forward to playing with the camera some more. Not so much looking forward to the 548 page manual though.

Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

A Prairie Falcon flies head on toward the photographer in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon flies head on toward the photographer in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon flies head on toward the photographer in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon flies head on toward the photographer in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon flies head on toward the photographer in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon flies head on toward the photographer in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon spreads its wings

This young falcon has become a bit of a fixture this winter in an area I frequently visit looking for raptors.

Unlike most Prairie Falcons, he / she is usually willing to sit and pose for at least a few pictures before invariably heading off to a more private location. Yesterday such was the case and as it launched into the air, it look flight allowing me to capture this image of it nearly directly overhead.

These birds are found across much of the western United States and Mexico. They prefer to dine on smaller birds, oftentimes diving right into flocks and snatching their prey. Someday I hope to capture that bit of action.

A young Prairie Falcon spreads its wings and takes flight. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Prairie Falcon spreads its wings and takes flight. (© Tony’s Takes)