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Prairie Falcon

Prairie Falcon takes a shot at intimidating a Bald Eagle

A fun little sequence from New Year’s Day taken northeast of Denver, Colorado. This eagle was hanging out keeping watch on a field and I was in turn watching it, hoping it would move closer as it was on private property.

Apparently a brave little Prairie Falcon felt the bigger raptor was intruding on its territory and made a few passes in an attempt to get the eagle to give ground. It did work and the eagle moved on with the falcon in hot pursuit – unfortunately in the wrong direction for pics though.

Not great quality images due to the distance and the fact I was shooting into the sun but still neat.

A Prairie Falcon tries to chase off a Bald Eagle in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to chase off a Bald Eagle in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to chase off a Bald Eagle in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to chase off a Bald Eagle in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to chase off a Bald Eagle in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to chase off a Bald Eagle in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to chase off a Bald Eagle in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon tries to chase off a Bald Eagle in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon makes head on launch

I was taking pictures of this gorgeous raptor last week while it sat perched on a utility pole. Normally birds will avoid launching toward you, instead choosing to take a safer route away from the human interloper. This falcon though decided to launch almost directly at me, allowing me to capture this cool sequence of images.

It was in fact watching a small flock of blackbirds behind me and decided to try to snag one for a meal. It wasn’t successful and I missed capturing images of it diving directly though the flock but I was very happy with the launch sequence I was able to get.

These raptors are not particular about their diet and will feed on smaller birds including larks, swallows and doves but will also feed on rodents including squirrels.

Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and gets ready to launch. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and gets ready to launch. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and gets ready to launch. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and gets ready to launch. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and gets ready to launch. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and gets ready to launch. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and launches into the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and launches into the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and launches into the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps watch and launches into the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

Little falcon gives a serious look

In years past I have not had much luck getting pictures of Prairie Falcons. They rarely let you get close and are extremely fast fliers.

This year though, I have found a couple spots where a few have been frequenting and they generally are allowing me the opportunity to grab a few images before they head off.

This image was taken yesterday in Adams County, Colorado. Heavy cloud cover made for dim lighting and a bit of a grainy pic but I loved the look on the raptor’s face.

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. I’ve seen the behavior before and it is impressive but have yet to get an image of it. Someday maybe. 😉

A Prairie Falcon gives a serious look. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon gives a serious look. (© Tony’s Takes)

Performing Prairie Falcon

Prairie Falcons are very cool raptors but they can also be quite elusive. They are not normally ones to sit and pose for pictures and are quick to run away when approached.

Today I found one that was at least a little bit more tolerant than most and it gave me some nice images including this sequence of images as it launched from a pole.

These raptors 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.

Scroll down to view the complete series of images.

A Prairie Falcon launches into the air from a utility pole.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon launches into the air from a utility pole. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fast moving falcon flight

Prairie Falcons are some pretty darned cool birds to watch although they can be hard to find as they aren’t all that common.  Getting pictures of them is even better but they can be skittish and fly very fast and low to the ground all while showcasing their extraordinarily high maneuverability.

This past Sunday I happened across one sitting out in a field a good ways off.  I hopped out of my truck to snap a few pictures and much to my pleasure, when it took to the air it flew closer to me and gave me a nice little flyby.  These are some of the best flight pictures of these fast moving #raptors I have ever gotten.

Taken in rural Adams County, Colorado, USA.

Scroll down below the main image for the rest of the series.

A Prairie Falcon does a high-speed flyby on the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon does a high-speed flyby on the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon keeps watch on the photographer

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. Thankfully this one sat still long enough for me to snap a few images. 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 keeps close watch on the photographer north of Denver, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps close watch on the photographer north of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Falcon Friday

Falcon Friday! Or, if you prefer, Falcon Flight. Prairie Falcons are some pretty darned cool raptors but they can be a bit difficult to get pics of. My experience is that they tend to steer clear of perching where people are and when they do, they are quick to take off if approached.

Yesterday afternoon I was lucky enough to find two that were willing to sit still long enough for me to get some pictures. This was the last image in the series that I took of this one, taken just as it launched into the air and headed out over the horizon. Note the significant amount of blood on its talons, legs and chest – clearly it had recently eaten.

A Prairie Falcon launches itself into the air from the top of a utility pole.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon launches itself into the air from the top of a utility pole. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon on the prairie

I came across a pair of these this morning having a bit of an aerial duel.  While my action shots didn’t turn out too great, when they took a break one did pose for me for a while.  These are very cool raptors that fly extraordinarily fast and are very maneuverable.

A Prairie Falcon perches on a utility pole in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon perches on a utility pole in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Prairie Falcon gets serious

I came across this handsome raptor a couple weeks ago in an area northeast of Denver . It was gracious enough to let me snap a bunch of pictures although unfortunately I have not seen it since.

Prairie Falcons are quite common in the western United States and are a very popular bird to be used in falconry .

You can view more pictures from my time photographing this bird here.

A Prairie Falcon keeps close watch.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon keeps close watch. (© Tony’s Takes)

Perched Prairie Falcon on the Plains

A late afternoon drive turned out to be well worth the time as I came across this magnificent raptor. This Prairie Falcon was initially watching over a busy road but then moved to a less hectic area and allowed me to get quite close.

Like many falcons, these raptors can be quite vicious and dine primarily on other birds including larks, doves and swallows. If you look closely, it would appear this one recently ate judging by the red on its beak.

View more images of the encounter with this falcon below.

A Prairie Falcon surveys an area on the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Prairie Falcon surveys an area on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)