American Kestrel

Falco sparveriusFalco sparverius male. The blue wings sex the bird.Falco sparveriusHunting amidst the strollers at the NYBG. Came up empty-taloned from a pass into the stubble, just some wisps of grass. With his head turned here, you can see the two black patches on the back of his head. These are ocelli, or false eyes. The standard line is that these are to psych-out larger birds of prey. A minority view holds that they may induce a mobbing reaction from songbirds, who are, after all, potential prey. Why not both? While Kestrels eat a lot of insects, they also hunt birds, as this warbler discovered in Green-Wood.

1 Response to “American Kestrel”


  1. 1 elwnyc March 24, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    My first view of a kestrel (pre-birding days) was from my window on Montague St., looking at the roof of the building across the street where the kestrel was busy defeathering a victim.


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