Kestrel mobbed by Crows

April 20, 2012 in Nearby Landbirds

This female American Kestrel has been mobbed by Crows numerous times earlier in the week.  The mobbing has taken place with one or both Kestrels in or near the cavity opening to the nest.  They seem to tolerate the mobbing but only up to a certain point.  One of the Kestresl seems to get fed up and then the big chase is on as the Kestrel will then chase the mobbing crow away from the nest area.  The mobbing gets fairly close at times.  Fascinating to watch the interplay!

More photos posted on line:   Click “next” in upper right to advance frames.

Kestrels: perch to perch!

April 5, 2012 in Nearby Landbirds

The female Kestrel continues to be very active around the nest area. She has been moving around from perch to perch in search of food.  According to the Allaboutbirds website Kestrels normally hunt by day. You may see a kestrel scanning for prey from the same perch all day long—or changing perches every few minutes.”  This was true for the Kestrel this morning as it was very intense in scanning the low ground cover for insects and small mammals.  The bright sun provided a nice look at her boldly patterned head and beautiful rufous barred back feathers.

 A handful of additional photos are posted online for those with an interest:

Click “next” in upper right to advance frames……enjoy!!

American Kestrel: nesting?

March 30, 2012 in Nearby Landbirds

Encountered this American Kestrel on Tuesday morning in Lawrence.  This location has supported nesting Kestrels in the past few years according to a local observer.  What a delight to see this kestrel perched in the cavity opening after keeping an eye out for the past few weeks!  According to Mass Audubon, “spring migration occurs mainly during March and April, and by the latter month local breeders are on their territories at woodland borders, fields, pastures, and the edges of highways. As the breeding season approaches, kestrels abandon their solitary winter habits. Members of a pair often perch side by side, and courtship consists of aerial displays by the male above a perched or flying female. The male ascends on rapidly fluttering wings and then plunges steeply, giving the familiar, repetitive killy-killy or kee-kee call, which is used not only in courtship but also at other times of excitement. Copulation during this period is frequent and precedes egg laying by several weeks.”