Winners Photography Awards 2009
Common Kestrel by Dr. Manoj C. Sindagi
The photographer has captured this Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus in all its symmetrical glory. The perfect alignment of body and feathers makes kestrels and hawks amongst the fastest fliers in the avian world. Gifted with extremely good vision, kestrels hunt by locating prey from a height in open country. They will then hover lower, often just 15 m. from the ground, before swooping down to snap up small prey such as rodents, lizards or insects. Scientists have discovered that kestrels are able to detect the presence of rodents from the ultraviolet light reflected by their urine and faeces. The birds use such clues to assess rodent population densities, enabling them to (geographically) invest their energy wisely.