2020 – Sunday 7:55am Kitchen Surprise

(Ignore May 1, 2017 publish date – this was posted on August 2, 2020)


I had just gotten up today and blearily walked into my kitchen to scrounge up breakfast.

I had gotten two steps into the kitchen when my eye caught a smallish, feathered form outside the kitchen window that looked raptorish. It’s a kestrel(!) – the smallest American raptor – and it was sitting on the framework of what used to be an awning, 10-12’ away and about 8’ off the roof (I’m the 7th-floor tenant in a 6-story building – my apartment sits on the roof).

I ran to get my camera, but had to figure out how to shoot it through a dirty, screened window at an angle (which increases the amount of metal screen per square inch)…………while not letting it see me (it’s got eyes like a h……. falcon).

The camera initially focused on the screen, but a light tap on the shutter button brought the bird into focus. I was still not confident that these would look good.

And they didn’t…………..initially, but the post work – especially contrast – seemed to make them look almost normal.

It definitely spotted me and obviously kept a sharp eye on me, but I made no quick movements.

I got about 10 shots before I must have done something to spook the bird, but I wasn’t happy until I finished Photoshopping them.


NOTE: I’m trying to finish a large post that will be up in the next couple of days, so I really had no intention or desire to create another post today, but visiting raptors that just show up at your door – or window – change your plans…………..and you really don’t mind because it’s a gift. (Hey, buddy – gift me AFTER breakfast next time, OK?)


Back to our show:

I decided to make two triptychs that sort of tell a story that I just made up (click to enlarge images):

1. The bird had been preening and didn’t move after spotting me (not made up):


2. Feeling more at ease with me, it started to play peekaboo, then sneezed into its elbow crease (it had no mask) and finally offered to shake hands before departing:


I declined. Who knows what sort of COVID-infected little animal it recently ripped to shreds?


See you later this week.



  1. Dennis B Wilcox August 2, 2020


    Dennis Wilcox

  2. Terri Keck August 2, 2020

    A much more exciting stumble into the kitchen than I had! Hope you are well!

  3. JOHN OTOOLE August 2, 2020

    Quite Impressive!

  4. Annemarie August 3, 2020

    Good for you — Great photos!

  5. carol ross August 3, 2020

    bob, you are soooo talented – these shots are amazing……

  6. William Streeter August 4, 2020

    Looks like a recently fledged male that had already eaten that day. Notice the slight bulge in the crop underneath the head visible in the first 3 pics.

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