Keeping Up With The Kestrels

…is exhausting!

The distinctive calling of the birds brings us to the windows throughout the day.They seem to be very effective hunters. In the photo above, the male is gripping a dead sparrow. You can just see the sparrow’s little toes. As he usually does, he proceeded to eat the sparrow’s head. Then he plucked out the tail and wing feathers. These remains he delivered to the female. She often eats part of the prey and then caches the rest on a roof. I suspect she’s using the solar panels up there to shield her tidbits from eyes of passing scavengers. I have seen her retrieve stored items from her stash, eating them later in the day. The falcons take rather small bites: I watched her eat for a dozen minutes recently, and there was still meat left over to cache.In this pic, both falcons have their own meal. It looks like House Sparrows are usually the food. The male’s flight when he carries a headless, wingless, House Sparrow is rather labored.

I can’t see the corner with the cornice with the nest from here, unfortunately. But yesterday, walking downhill, I heard and then saw the male fly into the hole. He perched inside looking out as I passed. It was nice and warm yesterday, too: is there finally an egg in the nest? Clutches range from 3-5 eggs, laid on alternate days. There are 29-31 days of incubation, mostly by the female. I found one study that said males incubated from 0-60% of the time, a very wide range.

1 Response to “Keeping Up With The Kestrels”


  1. 1 Susan April 14, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Fascinating photos Thanks!


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