This is a female Peregrine Falcon:
The peregrine falcon scans the horizon looking for prey while it is in flight. When it spots a potential meal it can dive at speeds up to 200 miles per hour. You can tell this is a female by it colored breast feathers. The link I have included shows a photo of a male.
This photo I took at World Bird Sanctuary, at one of their Camera Day events. If you live or are visiting the St. Louis area on November 3rd, they will be hosting another event and it is a great opportunity to take photos of various birds of prey in a natural setting. That was how I managed to get close enough to get this profile shot.
To get this photo I used a tripod. I was working on a project that is a series of birds of prey in HDR. In order to make the HDR image I used a series of three images with different exposures. Combining them later into one image to bring out more detail in the bird. I used my bracketing setting on my camera and also a very high shutter speed. For this photo I wanted to have the background very blurred, in part because I wanted to have the viewer focus on the bird, and in part to honor the fact that these birds seem to be able to live with any sort of backdrop as their home. They can be found nesting in vast open spaces and also very crowded cities.
This particular photo is a 5×7 card and a print, along with the rest of the series which is available for viewing here on my website. I have also blogged about a few of the other photos. Here are links for the Eastern Screech Owl, Long-Crested Eagle, Eurasian Eagle Owl, and the Barn Owl.
This post was written in response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge which has horizon as a theme for this week.
What do you think of my peregrine falcon? Have you ever seen one of these beautiful birds in flight or diving? Feel free to leave a comment below.