Prey

Leila Jeffreys 'Prey' series was exhibited at Purdy Hicks London and Olsen Gallery Sydney. Each large scale photograph features a portrait of bird of prey

'Bandit' Nankeen Kestrel

'Bandit' Nankeen Kestrel

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Photograph on archival fibre based cotton rag paper
112 x 89 cm, 44 x 35 inch (standard)

'Bandit' Nankeen Kestrel 2014 ©Leila Jeffreys

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Bandit is a cheeky bird that lives up to her name. She lives at Broadwings Raptor Training and Conservation Centre, and as a young bird, had a habit of stealing teabags off the kitchen bench. Paul and his partner Robyn couldn’t understand why they were going through so many teabags until finally they discovered the remnants of her stash.

Bandit was very vocal when I met her, making chattering calls, constantly on the lookout and assessing the surroundings, making plans for her next heist. Yet every now and then she would hold a pose that would look quite innocent, which was quite funny.

Bandit is just a juvenile; as she grows up, her eye ring will turn a bright yellow as well as her cere (her nostrils).  She has lovely teardrop-shaped black markings and is one of our smallest birds of prey.

Nankeen Kestrels are common birds that can be easily identified because of their distinctive technique of hovering over grasslands in search of mice and insects. Like so many Australian birds, they have no clear migratory path. Some established pairs are residents in a location all year round while others migrate north during the winter.

Generally they form monogamous relationships where Mum incubates the eggs while her partner searches for food. When the young are close to fledging the female will leave the nest to hunt for food to help feed them before the chicks start their journey into the world.