A few days ago, I met up to grab some coffee with a old friend that I haven't seen in years. We discussed how much our lives have changed since we last spoke and admired how life changes without even knowing it. We both had plans for our future, yet, we headed in different directions. And we couldn't be happier with direction the current path is taking our lives. (Sounds like we are getting married and having kids, which isn't the case. Just the path of life.)
After talking for quite some time and telling her all about my wildlife stories (red fox buddies, close encounters with grizzly bears, hawks almost flying into my head) she called me the Mr. Snow White. I'm a fictional cartoon character!?! I laughed at first and said no way! Since the days have come and gone, the thought of being the Mr. Snow White might just be somewhat true.
As I was driving to the well known bald eagles nest in Ridgefield Park, I noticed a tiny bird on top of small tree. I looked through my binoculars and it's a little kestrel! For this story, I will call him Jimbo. This little fella is just hanging out watching people walk around this park. What a random sight to see. Even though I was on a mission to photograph some eagles, something was telling me to get out and have a photography session with Jimbo.
I quickly illegally parked SUV and as I was getting out, the park ranger said I couldn't park there. I looked around and there wasn't a car another insight. I threw up my hands and said I don't care, there's a kestrel right there! And I took off towards it.
Mr. Snow White definitely came into play as I was walking up towards him. Every few steps, I'd snap away about 40 photos, just in case he decided to fly away. From my position, the lighting was very harsh. The kestrel had hard sunlight hitting the right side of his body, while his back was facing me- I had to re-position. Jimbo decided show me his wings for a little bit before flying away.
The next photograph that I took of Jimbo is my favorite for sure! Jimbo showed off his beautiful colored plumage and insanely detailed wings. It's hard to believe that this is a falcon that can take down small birds for food. He is in fact, the smallest falcon in North America.
Being that I was so close to this amazing kestrel, Jimbo, I figured he was going to fly away from me. He was heading in the right direction for great photography opportunity for me. I nailed another great action photo of him.
Wow, what a great experience to spend with this little guy, at such a close distance. So, maybe you can call me Mr. Snow White. I do tend to have some pretty exciting special moments with wildlife. I enjoy every second of it and always look forward to the next experience. My appreciation for wildlife and nature grows more and more everyday. It's such a nice feeling to sit back and just take it all in, whether at your local waterfront park or sitting in your backyard. Even though it's been super cold here in NJ, the beauty of nature doesn't vanish, you just need to open your eyes and think outside of your perspective. Try it out! American Kestrels are very common falcons. They are usually spotted around marshes and open land. Be sure to also check electric wires and poles, as well.
The photograph titled "Lift Off" is available for limited edition 8x10 print. It's just a great representation of an amazing bird. Please click here for more information on the print.
Thanks for looking!