Posts Tagged 'kestrels'

Raptor Wednesday

The male of the #BrooklynKestrels pair is stashing prey in a rotted-out knot in his favorite perching tree. This photo is through the screen, rain, and foliage. But with those two little songbird feet sticking up like an amateur gangland corpse disposal, you get the drift. Have seen a few bodies cached here since discovering this spot a week ago.One day, both the female and the male landed one after the other on a nearby roof. It’s unusual for them to land on something they can’t grip. Some magnification on the scene revealed a bumblebee, no doubt somewhat discombobulated since it looked like the male had the bee in his bill briefly.Except for one rodent, the food list for these falcons has been all birds, as far as I have seen. In season, American Kestrels are said to be great devourers of dragonflies, and other insects, so we shall see what we shall see shortly.One of the birds, couldn’t tell which one, patrol-hovering after a run-in with a crow. The team don’t want any bad-boys around the nest. Crows have been patrolling the neighborhood for miscellaneous nestlings. They come in very low, one or two at a time. The falcons are furious in response against the rather larger corvids.A wet day.A couple interlopers on the perch.Also noted up there, Grackle and Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Weekend Kestrels

The female is rarely seen these days. She emerges from the cornice nest and flies up to the London Plane on 41st Street to take food bought up by her mate. Here she briefly perches on the avenue London Plane.It gets gory from here…

The male with prey in the fog.An hour later, the fog had cleared off. This is, I think, the leftovers of the same dead bird. Remember: they cache their food on various local roofs, including, I suspect, mine.

Trying to capture the ticking/purring sound he makes when he’s eating with my hand-held camera.
Note the urban cacophony in the background.

I have a lot of photos like this, since this perch is the favorite. Tiny chickens…

Raptor Wednesday

I wrote about the local Kestrels for the Brooklyn Bird Club’s excellent Clapper Rail. Several days of hunting portrayed here. By now, I guess that there are young in the nest.

Raptor Wednesday

We had to be away from the #BrooklynKestrels Lookout for a week. All the trees leafed out in our absence. Except for this bare branch sticking upright across the street.

Yes! The wee falcons are still going strong. Yesterday morning around 8:30 the male announced his presence with swirling call. He had prey. The female swung into view and up to the now so green London Plane for a food transfer. There was kestrel chatter all day long.

Above and below, pictures taken by a Friend of the Falcons while we were away.

Raptor Wednesday

When I spotted this male American Kestrel on the ground and some of the smaller tombstones, I thought, whoa, a way of hunting I’ve never seen before! But look at that left wing. It’s damaged. I followed. This, of course, made the bird move away from me. I formulated a make-shift falcon-catching situation out of a canvas tote bag, but the bird went into a thicket of conifers. This upset some Cardinals and Towhees terribly. The thicket effectively blocked my view of his exit, but I caught a glimpse of him on the next rise. As I approached, an unleafed shrub blocked my view for a second or two. And then he was gone. I have no idea what happened to him. I circled the area twice, going further out each time, but could not spot him again. I also looked hard under that shrub.

I wondered if this bird was the male nesting locally. The wing plumage looked different, but I couldn’t be sure if that was because of the way the bird was carrying his damaged wing. I didn’t confirm that the local #BrooklynKestrels male was flying and killing prey until four hours later. This was the very day I suspect the female started incubating. His loss would have been a disaster for the nest.


This male is a hell of a provider. I’ve seen three feedings per day recently, in which the male will bring prey to a perch, pluck and eat some, and then noisily give to the female. Caught a glimpse of her. She’s coming out of the nest to take food. He has popped into the nest while she’s out.

This looks like it might not be a House Sparrow.

And this is the first mammal I’ve seen either of them eat this breeding season. A young rat? The day before, I saw what looked like a larger rodent scurry towards the curb in broad daylight right across the street from the kestrel nest site. This is a big danger because rat poisons travel up through the food-chain.

Listen for the maniacal sounds of Laughing Gulls passing overheard, and the falcon’s alertness to the sound.

On Thursday morning, there was a small fire on 5th Avenue. The smoke streamed by in the distance. Perched male on the right.

Raptor Wednesday

Other American Kestrels. Six or seven blocks away from home as the falcon flies is Green-Wood Cemetery. From one corner of the cemetery, you can see the top corner of my apartment building, so naturally I wonder if the #BrooklynKestrels pair have hunted there.This is a male I saw recently in Green-Wood, above Sylvan Water. He had just captured a very small bird. I think it may have been a Golden-crowned Kinglet, because I had just spotted a couple of them.  And the kestrel zoomed by me right after that, heading up to this perch, where he rather quickly devoured the prey.I don’t think this is our neighbor, however. I’m not a 100% positive, but his black chest spots definitely look larger.


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