A photographer has captured a rare moment - a native falcon making its kill over Featherston.

Alan Morris, formerly of Masterton, was in Featherston trying to get the "perfect" hawk photo for an Easter assignment when "something" shot across from left to right.

"It happened so quick - it attacked a seagull or a pigeon, and they just fell out of the sky."

He lost track of the falcon, but when he turned on to Harrison St he saw the bird on the ground, feasting on the remains.

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"I got the telephoto out, shot a couple of photos."

He forwarded the photos to Wingspan, a Rotorua breeding sanctuary for birds of prey, who identified it as a NZ falcon, probably a 3-year-old adult female, going by the size and markings, and the fact it was able to carry off a heavy bird. Females are twice the size of males.

Mr Morris said he was astonished at the speed of the attack.

"I had never seen anything like it. I'd been trying to photograph one for a few years. There's not many of them around."