Baby Kestrels All Over

The sound was like the alarm sounds the kestrels make when there’s a crow or hawk in the ‘hood, the high, fast, cycling sound, only it continued for a much longer period. I heard it consistently for half an hour, and on and off for a good two hours in total.

By the time I got outside it was about 6 a.m. Both birds were hovering above the roof of the block with the nest. I thought there might be a fledgling below them, but I couldn’t see the roof from the street.There was still at least one nestling in the cavity during this same Tuesday morning.But wait! Remember that nest from last year, on 5th Avenue in Park Slope? I’d seen no evidence of activity there this year, but I didn’t spend a lot of time looking (it’s awkward standing on a sidewalk looking up at the top floor of a building). But on this same Tuesday I walked by, and voila! At least two.

Meanwhile, back at #BrooklynKestrels HQ, there was plenty more noise, only I could see nothing. Where the devil were they? Ah-hah! Wednesday’s discoveries: there’s a very large Ailanthus in the backyard behind the nest and the young are taking shelter inside the canopy. The bird on the right is a fledged male. You can just see some of the downy fuzz still on his head. His tail, also, looks undeveloped, the feathers not fully out yet. He was very well behaved, though: many a fledged bird is very vocal about its needs, and it’s all need for young birds. That’s a female on the left working on some prey. His mother?Not a peep out of him. Leg-stretch, though.Thursday. There are three kestrels in this image, although two are hard to see. Male fledgling. Judging from that shortie tail, another fledgling, and this time female.And another female. I don’t see any downy here, but her chest pattern looks different from the mother, so I think she’s another fledgling.

At press time (blog-time), it looks like two females and two males have fledged. Stay tuned to your favorite kestrel station for more… tomorrow!

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