Raptor Wednesday: The End of An Era

From this angle, you can’t see the hole in this cornice very well. You sure can see the whitewash, though. American Kestrel point their tails out and squirt away. Falco sparverius is an unusual North American raptor species in that they nest inside cavities. They usurped some Starlings, no mean usurpers of nesting sites themselves, to take over this site in 2018. Here’s the crew from 2018.

While we can’t see this corner unless we stick our heads out the window, this nest has been central to our lives for the last four years, because our view includes numerous kestrel perches and trysting places. Rooftop antennas, bulkheads, pipes. Fire-escapes. Trees. Lightposts. Heres the class of 2019.

Our own building is an important player in all this drama. The surviving TV antenna up there, along with the roof of the bulkhead, provide perches with excellent views. We often see the birds flying straight uphill towards us, going practically right over our top-floor heads. Last year, 2020, one of the fledgings was up there on our roof trying to figure out this whole life thing.

But then, on Saturday, with remarkable rapidity, the corner cornice was painted over. But that’s not all they did. They sealed off the nest site! Considering how much we’ve been seeing both birds every day recently, I don’t think there were eggs yet, but it is very near to egg-laying time. Sunday night around 7:15pm, both falcons were observed copulating on the chimney pot.

The chimney pot perch in better days.
One of the birds in the fog.

Space is compressed in this photo. The tall antenna on the left is all the way at the end of the avenue-long block. That’s one of the kestrels on the upper crossbeam. The chimney pot on the right is about 3/4ths of the way up the block. The birds have, in short, some space to play in.

And there is a happy ending to this story, at least for the falcons. But for that you’ll need to tune in tomorrow.

2 Responses to “Raptor Wednesday: The End of An Era”


  1. 1 Chuck McAlexander April 21, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    You have my complete sympathy. I watched and wrote about kestrels on 25th St. In Manhattan for half a dozen years before the nest was removed and given to me for Study. The birds relocated about six blocks away, but not within my easy view. It was definitely a loss in my life as it will be for you. BTW, isn’t that a protected species and did not some laws get broken when the active nest was sealed?


  1. 1 Raptor Wednesday | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on June 23, 2021 at 7:00 am

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