Posts Tagged 'kestrels'

Raptor Wednesday

The #BrooklynKestrels female having a sip of roof water.They will bathe in such puddles as well. These were taken April 20th. May 2nd found them both in a London plane one block from the nest site. Spotted the female yesterday. A Common Grackle was buzzing her.Now that the trees have come out, it’s harder to see birds.Woodlawn Cemetery doesn’t have all that many squirrels. And one less, now.On our trip to Virginia, we saw about twenty Osprey. There were three or four Bald Eagles. This is one of them.From the road: a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks across a long southeastern Virginia farm field. One of these had flown across our bow with prey in talons towards this tree, and when I got the camera on the scene, there were two!

Raptor Wednesday

Since a November snow storm blew down the dead, upright branch on this London plane tree across the street, the American Kestrels have rarely been in this tree. That branch, with its knobby top, provided a perfect perch. Much of the kestrel activity has lately taken place on a TV antenna behind this tree. Now that the tree has leafed out, it’s even harder to see. But last week, for a change of pace, the female alighted briefly in the LP.

Your #BrooklynKestrels watchers were away for four days. Yesterday, we returned to kestrel calls in the afternoon. Around 7:30 pm, the male was on the antenna with prey, making the trilling sound that seems to signify food. He flew off in general direction of the corner nest…

Raptor Wednesday

American Kestrel male way up there looking for lunch.Ditto this Merlin. Even higher, for this bird is near the top of the reputed tallest tree in Green-Wood, a tuliptree (yellow poplar). Same day as the kestrels above and below.This is the local #BrooklynKestrels male.He has prey.The pair cache prey on this roof, under the solar panels.Female is stretching. There were three food transfers this day: male to female.In the last week, this pair has been very noisy. Up until Monday, the female was going off like an alarm. Last couple of days, not nearly as much.

On Sunday, these two, two more hunting Floyd Bennett’s grasslands, and one perched over the Belt Parkway made for a five American Kestrel day.

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.

Kestrel Action

This silhouette: large-headed, full-bodied, longish tail. This is the local American Kestrel female. She’s larger and rounder than the male. The pair are mating now. They’ll do this multiple times a day. They can do it hundreds of time a breeding season.More falcon silhouette: long tail, arch of wings, nearly boomerang-like. She was moving from perch to perch in the northwest corner of Sunset Park. That is the famed car service antenna on 40th St. behind her, a Kestrel (and Merlin, Red-tail, crow, N. Mockingbird, Starling) perch behind her. Keeping a sharp lookout.

Kestrel Renewal

Well, here they are, kitty-corner from last year’s cornice nest. Have seen no mating as yet, but that sure doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any. Picture above from March 5th.

On Thursday, March 14th, at about 5:30pm, the same set up: both on the chimney pot after she flew there from a nearby roof pipe. Much vocalization from both.

Yesterday, Friday, around 9:15am. Heard first, as if often the case (can’t look out the windows every minute…). The male was stirring up a trio of Blue Jays. He held his own, didn’t budge. The female showed up. She perched on one pipe of a neighboring building, flew to a another pipe on the other side of the same building, and hey! She had prey. Which she clearly cached up there on the roof. Because she dipped down out of sight behind the parapet and reappeared to perch on the pipe on the other side of the building again. (These three photos of her are in sequence). We call this the Solar Building because its roof is filled with solar panels. Last year, it was a definite food-caching site. Presumably the falcons are stashing prey under the panels, where it can’t be seen from overhead.About 2:30pm yesterday, the female was seen eating on the solar bldg. She plucked and snarfed down what looked like a sparrow, the same thing she had up there earlier in the day. At one point, she dropped down to pick up a scrape she dropped. Not wasting anything but the feathers. She’s got to put on lots of weight for egg-making.

A big change from last year’s #BrooklynKestrels story is that the upright dead limb of the London plane tree across the street is no more. It was a regular perch for the falcons. It came down in a snowstorm this past November. Also this year, there’s no sidewalk shed around around our building: this hosted several House Sparrow nests last year, which probably meant the population of this Kestrel prey species was enriched.

One of the Staten Island Ferry’s big orange boats in the background. That’s Upper NY Bay, with the southern end of Ellis Island just visible to the right of the ferry.

Raptor Wednesday

This linden tree sported a male American Kestrel in 2017 and 2018, too. Now here’s… another? He’s facing the low winter sun. That makes for good photographs, but also gives his potential prey a good view of him.You’d think he’d want to come out of the sun, but that might throw his shadow ahead of him.So the above pictures were taken a few weeks ago. Raptor Wednesday is usually running behind this time of year. But I always check this spot when I’m near by, and most times I see nothing. But just yesterday, for the first time since the above:Here he was again.(I mean, I think it’s the same bird.)


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