Raptor Wednesday

The neighborhood American Kestrels are all over the place lately. Here’s the female perching on a roof fence nearer to Falcon Crest — a new name for the apartment — than usual.The building behind her — four little row houses away — is where you will typically find her, perching on the various roof pipes and sundry outcroppings. There was a lot of feather maintenance this time. On Monday, I watched her eat two birds, swallowing down even the feet and toes of each one.

When it’s cold and windy, the pair huddles on this drainpipe housing. (They did this last year, too.) Here they’re out of the wind and get the full force of the morning sun. You can see how much bigger the female is in comparison to the male. They’re usually active at sunrise — we’ll hear them before seeing them. They’re spending a lot of time on a TV antenna across the street, but it’s behind a London Plane tree so the view is awful. We spot them sporadically during the day. They usually hang out together around sunset, although it looks like they both go separate ways for roosting.  The female should be taking to the nest cavity soon.

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