Monday Kestrels, Of Course

Portrait of an American Kestrel.This is the male of the local pair. He’s missing a ragged chunk of feathers from his breast. Molting? Wear and tear? He’s always been a fierce gnawer when he grooms his front; he has frequently looked double-breasted, with cleavage, for want of a better word, right down the middle. This has helped me mark him out from other males. And now, fledglings to feed!
Here’s one them. Blobby russet streaks = a female (blackish spots for the male). Two female fledglings visited the London Plane across the street Friday about 7:30 p.m. (It was quite overcast, hence the very different look from the pictures of the male parent above, in brighter light earlier.) The mother kestrel, too, has been as busy as a raptor. She just delivered some food to her daughter before I snapped this one. The youngsters is in the foreground. The other female fledgling, same tree, same time as the feeding above.All these pictures are from Friday. It’s hard to keep up.

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