Eleonora’s Gift

Alberto Fantoni's Image

It was late summer, breeding season, and this Eleonora’s falcon flew back and forth, delivering food to its mate. Watching from a hide, Alberto wasn’t able to see the bird’s nest positioned a little way down the cliff. But what he could observe was the falcon passing on its prey – and the way it always seemed reluctant to give up its catch without a struggle.

The prey is probably a lark – the mass autumn migration of which coincides with the falcon’s breeding season. This falcon hunts at high altitudes, often far offshore, and takes a range of small birds on the wing, including nightingales and swifts. Outside of the breeding season and on windless days, when passing migrants are scarce, the falcon feeds on large insects.

Behind the lens

Alberto Fantoni

Animals and local landscapes have always fascinated Alberto. Thanks to his father Luca and his grandfather Alberto, he has been passionate about nature photography from a young age. The animals of the Alps and northern Italy are his favourite subjects. Winner of prestigious international competitions, he has been awarded several times at Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Image details

  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon 500mm f4.5 lens
  • 1/2000 sec at f7.1 (+1.0)  •   ISO 800  •   hide
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