A Winter Morning at Forest Park (2020)

A female American kestrel in Forest Park.

Hi Folks — it’s been a while since I touched base, but it hasn’t been for lack of activity. I’ve been out almost every morning since my last post but things have been pretty dead as early-winter sets in. I have made some nice whitetail buck images and I photographed our local barred owl a few days ago. Those pics are available for viewing on my public page on Facebook:


This morning, my buddy Danny and I met at Forest Park a little before daylight for a winter hike. Danny is not only good company on a hike but he provides a well-seasoned second set of eyes for finding critters, much of which comes from his upbringing as a Missouri hillbilly, like me, and a lifetime of hunting.

Danny Mac is always watching for birds and other critters.

Danny found a sweet little starling, I know, I know, they’re not native, right out of the gate this morning watching us from a hole in a sycamore tree. I loved the resulting Nature Frame.

A starling surveys Forest Park from its cozy perch in a Sycamore.

Later, as we rounded the wetland near the skating rink, Danny spotted a tiny green-winged teal hanging with a group of mallards. It took some work and a fair amount of repositioning as the teal motored around the wetland but I was able to get some nice shots in the end.

We found this green-winged teal with a large group of mallards.

Right after the teal encounter, Danny spotted a great blue heron showing off its gorgeous plumage on a branch near the wetland. The heron was very amicable if not downright determined to get its picture taken. I was extremely happy with the result.

The exquisite plumage of a great blue heron.

As we rounded the the wetland and headed back south, an American kestrel flew over with three blue jays on its tail. When it finally landed I made the featured image of the beautiful female.

A female kestrel watches for prey at the edge of a wetland.

I watched the kestrel for at least thirty minutes, waiting for it to fly, but it just sat and craned its head around looking for prey. Just when I was getting ready to leave the kestrel’s mate landed on a nearby perch. Score!

A male kestrel lands on a perch near the female.

Long story short — Danny and I had a great morning at Forest Park. My reluctance to spend time in urban areas is always countered by my love for photographing urban wildlife. I’m glad the latter won out this morning.

Happy Naturing,


Note: Watch for my image of cedar waxwings on a clump of cedar berries in the upcoming issue of Birds and Blooms. Other publications coming up include the annual photography issue of Colorado Outdoors and the Missouri Department of Conservation’s X’Plor Magazine.

Contact Me: Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images:


America is Beautiful. I vote to keep it that way.

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