The Kestrel and the mouse

There’s a Kestrel at the top of the tree here in Parco della Caffarella. It’s quite a distance away, so we get a few shots and approach it:

Kestrel and Mouse - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s scanning the ground as we get closer and just as I try to get a better shot it flies off down to the ground out of sight. We quicken our pace hoping we haven’t missed it when it suddenly flies past fast and low:

Kestrel and Mouse - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It has a mouse held tightly in its talons:

Kestrel and Mouse - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It all takes only a few seconds and I don’t know whether I have any decent shots, or what they show.

Kestrel and Mouse - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I peer at the back of my camera and am amazed to see that the mouse is still alive. Kestrels normally kill mice immediately after catching them with a bite to the skull. This one hasn’t.

That mouse is having the ride of its life… or should that be the ride of its death?

Kestrel and Mouse - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Hunting from a perch is so much more energy efficient than hovering. Now all this Kestrel has to do is find a secluded perch on which to eat the mouse.

Kestrel and Mouse - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It turns and, still flying fast and low, disappears.

Kestrel and Mouse - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’ll never forget the look on the face of the mouse.

Kestrel and Mouse - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
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