Monday, October 1, 2012

American Kestrels in my Yard

1. AmKE-kab American Kestrel in tree 10-1-2012

I got started on my morning bird count late today so it was quite warm as I sat in the shade on my balcony drinking green tea. The usual birds were hanging about: lesser goldfinches, house finches, a pair of Anna's hummingbirds and a few mourning doves. All in all it was fairly quiet in the yard with clear blue skies and rising temperatures. I knew we were headed for triple digits if not today, well, then tomorrow. I planned to spend the day indoors with the air conditioner running while I did housework. Reluctantly I put away my pen and notebook and reached for my binoculars and their case. As I turned to get out of my chair I suddenly saw a somewhat larger bird in the bare treetop that all the birds like to use as a lookout point. I had just seen a Say’s Phoebe there a few moments ago, but this was larger, though it was still bobbing its tail. With a rapidly beating heart I put my bins to my eyes and practically squealed with joy. A kestrel! Right here near my own yard! Since I did not have my camera with me, I just stayed and enjoyed the view. But when a second kestrel showed up, I decided it was time to go downstairs and get it! I’m not sorry I did! The birds stayed around for about 15 to 20 minutes, flying over my rooftop and landing on others. I never did manage to get a shot of both of them at once, but what a thrill it was, especially when one flew right in front of the balcony less than 10 feet from me!

2. flying-kab 

3. kestrel-kab 

4. treetop-kab 

5. roof pipe perch-kab 

6. blur-kab A kestrel flies by the balcony in a blur!

And as if this was not enough of a show, when I came downstairs I found this waiting for me! A female Anna’s clinging to the wire of the my new hummingbird feeder!

7. hummingbird-kab Anna’s Hummingbird on feeder wire in my yard 10-1-12

What a way to start my day!

The American Kestrel is our smallest falcon with a gray back and a rufous tail which it will sometimes pump up and down while perched. The face has distinct dark marks that run down the sides similar to a Prairie Falcon or a Peregrine, but the Kestrel is much smaller and much more colorful, with the male being the most colorful of the pair. They eat mostly insects and small mammals.

Note: I have more birding adventures from September to post about but I wanted to post something current since this was so exciting!

Today’s Poem:

38 comments:

  1. What a cool yard bird, Kathie! And to see two of them together, a great sighting. Wonderful shots!

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  2. Nice, Kathie. Had a pair here a few weeks ago..a first for my yard list!! They hung around the area for a few days, but no pics:).

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  3. The Kestrel was good for you to see Kathie, but I don't expect the other small birds were too happy about it.{:)

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    1. Roy, actually, some of them did not seem to mind! I was surprised!

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  4. wow!! beautiful kestrel!! and lucky you...for planning ahead and having your camera with you!! if i go outside without mine, i'll invariably WISH i didn't forget it!! oh well.

    great shots!! and i love your hummer feeder...and hanger thingie...terrific hummer shot as well!

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    1. Laura, the same thing happens to me! LOL! I guess I should carry it with me everywhere but it does get a bit cumbersome at times!

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  5. How fantastic to see kestrels in your yard and the little hummer looks cute on her new feeder!

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  6. Very nice Kathie. Kestrels are such impressive birds, especially as they fly around letting out their kili-kili-kili call.

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  7. Love the kestrels! I imagine the other birds disappeared when they showed up!

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    1. Kathryn, so did;some didn't! It was fun to see them and I was so surprised when they stayed around for so long and flew right over my rooftop, over my head, and in front of the balcony!

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  8. Such a special treat. Wonderful little and colorful rapture. I usually see them sitting on wires. Put on a good show for you.

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  9. Lucky you! I don't see them very often. Wonderful shots!

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    1. Hilke, I did not see them very often in MA either!

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  10. Nice photos! It has always been very difficult for me to get good shots of kestrels, due to their size and lighting, and their always moving.

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    1. Jann, following the bird's motion with your camera helps but sometimes they just fly too fast!

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  11. Wow, these are really nice photos. You don't even have to go looking for birds, this time around.

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  12. Wow!!!! You must have been excited. I love the first shot of the bright red/brown back. You have some great action going on in that backyard of yours. Hope you had a good day.

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    1. Chris, thanks! It's always a good day when I start out with this kind of birding excitement!

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  13. Holy cannoli, that first photo of the Kestral in a dive is amazing, and really shows off his gorgeous (and appropriately Autumnal!) colors! Wonderful captures!

    And what a sweet little hummingbird! I love your new feeder, and am sure it will be a very popular bistro. :-)

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    1. Laloofah, I was very pleased with that shot! I do love their colors and the hummingbirds continue to come to my feeders! Thank you!

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  14. How exciting! Great captures of this beautiful kestrel and the little hummer photo was lovely! Off to check out your poem blog now :) Have a great day Kathie.

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    1. Denise, thank you for reading my poetry!

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  15. Terrific Kestrel photos! They are so fast it's hard to catch them mid flight!

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  16. Impressive bird and great pictures. I hope that hummer is staying somewhere safe.

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  17. How fortunate you were to see not just one, but two kestrels in your backyard! Cool captures! They are such beautiful birds. I love the little Anna's Hummingbird, too! Pretty feeder.

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    1. Julie, all these birds are so much fun to watch! And, the feeder was a gift from a friend. I finally found the perfect place for it and I just love it!

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  18. What a treat Kathie, I am so happy that the birds are beginning to learn where you live :)

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  19. I TRY TO JOIN YOUR BLOG BUT IT WOULDN'T DO ANYTHING TO LET ME CONNECT. JUST LOVE YOUR BLOG. GRANNY FROM FLORIDA

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    1. Granny, I am so sorry! I wish I knew how to tell you what to do! Perhaps you can try again? Did you sign in or subscribe by email? Thank you for your visit!

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Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.