Weekend Birding: American Kestrel
Last weekend my dad called to tell me there was a bird hiding in his garage. He thought it might be a baby hawk. The bird had been roosting on top of the garage when it was spotted by robins. The robins have a nest in the yard and being good parents they identified it as a threat and began attacking it. After a while it panicked and flew into the garage and wouldn’t come out.
Time for a bird rescue. My husband and I were on our way to a Memorial Day picnic, but we would make a detour and help the bird.
When we arrived the terrified bird was hiding under a work bench covered in sawdust and cobwebs. I only took a few photos because this was a very scared, young bird and I didn’t want to traumatize him any further. We got him into a box for a ride to the local wildlife center for a check up to make sure he wasn’t injured from the robin attack. When he recovered they would release him back in the area he was found.
More About Kestrels
Isn’t this a beautiful bird? This is an American Kestrel, a small, colorful falcon. An adult is about the size of a Mourning Dove. This is not a common backyard bird and this was the first time I had seen one; a lifer for me. While they are not endangered, they are declining in some areas such as in New England, parts of the Pacific Coast, and Florida.
American Kestrels range across most of North America and parts of South America. They prefer open country and can be found in meadows, grasslands, deserts, parks, farm fields, cities, and suburbs and can often be seen perching on telephone wires. They eat mostly insects and other invertebrates, as well as small rodents and birds.
Kestrels nest in cavities such as old woodpecker holes or tree hollows and will also use nest boxes. Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a link to live streaming video of a Kestrel nest box in Boise, Idaho. The eggs hatched last week and there are five little ones.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.
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