Posts Tagged 'kestrels'

More of That Kestrel

This male was on a familiar kestrel-tree. From 2018. From 2017.
Different tree, but same hunting grounds. This is a gentle slope leading to a corner of the cemetery fenced off from the streets. It’s filled with modest headstones. Trees along the edges provide great perches. This one perched in four different trees while I was watching. A couple of days later, the bird was in the same place, using two other trees.

Raptor Wednesday

Happy New Year!

Ready… setgo!

Raptor Wednesday Holiday Delay

An American Kestrel male in Green-Wood.
Same American Kestrel and a Northern Mockingbird.
.Aerial Boxing Day?

Raptor Wednesday

A parade of Falco species!
Last Thursday afternoon and
then again Monday morning, a Peregrine (F. peregrinus) was atop St. Michael’s eating what looked like pigeon. (This butcher’s block, the highest perch for blocks, is two avenue blocks and one street block away from our apartment, approximately 500 meters/1640 feet, so these through-the-scope views leave much to be desired.)
A Merlin (F. columbarius) has been seen atop PS24 (1.75 avenue blocks by two regular blocks away) several times in the last weeks. Last week, there was one here and at the same time another perched on a much nearer tree, while in between, an American Kestrel (F. sparverius) was perched atop the antenna noted below. While visible from the apartment, this perch, on a mess of antennas, isn’t worth photographing from here. This photo was taken while walking to the subway station.

This past Monday morning, Peregrine and American Kestrel were seen the same time, then later Peregrine and Merlin at the same time, but the trinity trifecta of Peregrine, Merlin, and American Kestrel all at the same time remains elusive so far (yes, we’re pretty spoiled here in the raptor seat at the top of the moraine).
A male American Kestrel has been spotted almost daily (sometimes more than once per day) on the car service antenna (one avenue block by one street block away). This male is very russet-breasted but rather lightly marked with spots. (Photo from street-level.)

Across the street from this tall antenna, used by a car service, is a regular old TV antenna, unseen from our apartment but visible from the street. I got off the bus a block away from it last week and immediately spotted him up there, plucking prey. The feathers drifted down onto 40th St.
This is a photo from the apartment. The male Kestrel on the left, the Merlin on the right. The Kestrel was on the taller perch first, flew down when the Merlin showed up. Merlins are slightly bigger than Kestrels, with sexual dimorphism. Also, the left-hand antenna is not parallel with the main one, it’s angled away from us.

For completists, there is a fourth falcon species in this half of the continent. Gyrflacon (F. rusticolus) is generally a more northern bird. Long Island (we’re at the fish-shaped island’s western end) is within infrequent range, but I’ve never seen one in North America. (The West has the Prairie Falcon (F. mexicanus), another species I’ve never seen.

Raptor Wednesday

Merlins above Green-Wood.
Two sightings on one day well separated in space: one or two birds?
The lush meadow rising above the chapel has attracted sparrows and warblers, which means the bird-hunting falcons, too. Bother Merlins and American Kestrels having been perching on this scaffolding and on surrounding trees. Not at the same time: they will chase each off.
(Twice now from our apartment this month I’ve seen these two falcon species chasing each other as well.)

Raptor Wednesday

American Kestrel male with prey. Grasshopper, I think.
American Kestrel female bossing a Red-tailed Hawk. It was a chilly morning. The small falcon’s cry pulled my eyes skyward. The big buteo was were actually being harried by two kestrels.
This female was probably one of them. Several minutes later, I came across her hunting from funeral monument to funeral monument.

Raptor Wednesday

First off: we’ve had near daily American Kestrel sightings or hearings here at the H.Q. But today’s specimen sightings come from Green-Wood Cemetery.
A female atop what may be the largest obelisk in a cemetery full of them. (Curious how Christians went in for this paganism in Victorian times.)
Now here’s a male atop the flanking towers of the 25th St. gate.
What was most interesting here was that this bird flew into the Monk Parakeet colony’s nest.
He flew out soon enough, but then he flew to another entry, and perched there momentarily. Then he went into the nest.
Some five or so minutes later, he emerged to sit and look out for a spell. Then he went back inside.

Middle of the day. Parakeets yelling their heads off, as they are wont to do most of the time but particularly when there’s a threat about. The parakeets remained unseen during this time, so presumably they were hollering from inside what I presume is a multiple cavity nest/colony.

What was going on here amongst these long-lost cousins? (Falcons have been found to be more genetically related to parrots than they are to other raptors.) Predation? Monks Ps are only a little smaller than American Kestrels. Seems like challenging meal and a fight against a society, the parakeets being such colonial critters. Nest raiding? In late August? Scouting out a nocturnal nook? Amidst the loudest birds around?



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