Raptor Wednesday

When I spotted this male American Kestrel on the ground and some of the smaller tombstones, I thought, whoa, a way of hunting I’ve never seen before! But look at that left wing. It’s damaged. I followed. This, of course, made the bird move away from me. I formulated a make-shift falcon-catching situation out of a canvas tote bag, but the bird went into a thicket of conifers. This upset some Cardinals and Towhees terribly. The thicket effectively blocked my view of his exit, but I caught a glimpse of him on the next rise. As I approached, an unleafed shrub blocked my view for a second or two. And then he was gone. I have no idea what happened to him. I circled the area twice, going further out each time, but could not spot him again. I also looked hard under that shrub.

I wondered if this bird was the male nesting locally. The wing plumage looked different, but I couldn’t be sure if that was because of the way the bird was carrying his damaged wing. I didn’t confirm that the local #BrooklynKestrels male was flying and killing prey until four hours later. This was the very day I suspect the female started incubating. His loss would have been a disaster for the nest.

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