Kestrel Week VI

This is a Peregrine on St. Michael’s at 42nd & 4th Avenue.And this is a near approximation of what the church looks like from my apartment. See the Kestrel up there?I’m physically closer to the church for this one because I hurried down the two avenue blocks to confirm the sighting. I hadn’t seen Kestrels up here much before this year. Now I do frequently. Two have now been spotted up there together. One day, I saw one up there while a pair was virtually right across the street from me, so I wonder if there are, in fact, two pairs in the area. At the moment, there are definitely a minimum of two males and one female around.You may imagine me scanning the local rooflines, chimneys, antennas (dish and relict TV), fire-escapes, skylights, and other structures, as well as the 40th St. car service antenna (the highest perch near me), the more distant elevator tower for the construction project on 39th St., St. Mike’s, oh, and the Industry City smokestacks (where Peregrines have been spotted most every day since the middle of December).

There’s plenty I can’t see my from Kestrel lookout, however. The other day, I saw one plucking something, probably a House Sparrow, on an antenna on 38th Street, as I walked down to the subway stop at 36th Street.

Some territorial stats, taken form Weidensaul’s Raptor Almanac:
Breeding territory: .8 and .43-.70 square mile (Michigan and Wyoming).
Hunting territory (winter) 1.0-2.2 hunting territory in Michigan.

Some species of raptors will rarely overlap their territories, but they will overlap with other species of raptors.

I started this week of Kestrelmania by noting that American Kestrels have taken the city by storm. Yet we also know that the stresses of the urban environment have serious effects on the animals living in this harsh habitat. For Kestrels, these stresses include “elevated stress hormones and high rates of nest abandonment.” 

And poisons, vehicles, glass, human indifference, human sadism…

How you can help: what to do if you find a fledgling this spring on the sidewalk, from the Wild Bird Fund, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In nearby Long Island, the Hovraths have an excellent reputation (and, it goes without saying, a license) for rehabilitating raptors.

Put up a Kestrel nest box, especially if you’re in the majority of the country where the Kestrel population is declining. (Be prepared to remove the Starlings and House Sparrows that try to use it.)

1 Response to “Kestrel Week VI”


  1. 1 F jones February 23, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Thank you for what you do ..keeping us informed and aware of such beauty around us


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