Raptor Wednesday

More than a week after spotting three nestlings bursting at the rusty seams of their cornice nest, and then, later that same day, a female at close range on 5th Avenue, I was only seeing a total of three American Kestrels in the ‘hood. Two males and one female. I presumed it was the parents and one male fledgling.

Then, late in the day this past Sunday, I came home from some tacos and margaritas to spot three females in close proximity on the car service antenna and cell phone towers that overlook the block where the nest is.

Two extra females and one extra male add up to three youngsters in a family of five, assuming both parents are still around.

1 Response to “Raptor Wednesday”

  1. 1 Chuck McAlexander June 30, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    So long as the fledglings are receiving food from the parents, both will bring food. Once the weaning process begins the adult female is likely to depart. It makes sense in that she has a serious recuperation to achieve. Making babies can be very costly to the female. Depending upon diet, she will lose calcium from bones and protein from muscles to produce eggs. She will also preferentially feed the young before and instead of herself if times get bad enough. The male provides much if her nutrition while she is tending eggs or young, but she does go out a couple times a day for a hunt, some water and to poop. I good times her losses are minimal, but when prey is scarce the male can’t catch meals which aren’t there to replace her missed quarry. Fortunately, this is New York. House Sparrows abound, water is plentiful and it’s a great place to be an American Kestrel.

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