I got some great shots this weekend during a raptor ringing outing... a greater kestrel really entertained me and provided great photo opportunities.
I barely got set up with trap and camera at the ready when "Geronimo!"
...the kestrel launched itself from the telephone post.
Initially it first hovered over the bal-chatri for a moment before settling into its effort to extract the lure.
Repeatedly it alighted on the trap, walking all over it without a loop snaring it as is supposed to happen. Eventually another young bird joined in to inspect what the commotion was all about, but it didn’t stay long
The first bird would take off for a short rest on the nearby posts and try again. Or sometimes it would take off, then bank sharply to come back at the trap.
Sometimes it landed next to the bal-chatri, other times right on top. Between rests I actually took a gamble to drive up to the trap to reset the loops as I could see through my spotting scope that most have closed up, making them totally ineffective.
Amazingly the kestrel needed no invitation to attack once more… twice more… and on the third visit – success… the moment the snare got a leg to work on it was all over!
Obviously a portrait shot of a bird in the hand is the prize after the bird had been banded, measured and weighed…
After posting these pix I noticed that I was part of a misidentification folly earlier in this thread... I believe deefstes' first call was correct - juvenile brown snake-eagle! WTM's bird has a very distinct black ring around the iris, none of the yellow cere and fleshy bits around the eye. Even the wing patterns are wrong for a kestrel, but quite right for a young brown snake-eagle.