This summer a pair of American Kestrels nested in a old Elm tree just off our property. Three young ones soon appeared perched on the dead broken off branches of their nesting tree. For several days they stayed close to the nest and bounced around from one branch to another as the adults made numerous trips with nourishment. Pictured above are four members of family, one was flying look out nearby and trying to get me to follow away from the nest area.
I was surprised after I downloaded some photos to the computer to see this young kestrel was being pestered by a bee (not really sure if a bee). I had watched this kestrel not really able to fly yet, maneuver around the tree trunk using some vines for support and making its way to the top, evidently it was trying to get away from the insect!
Now the young kestrels are flying and exploring the area on their own. You never know where you might see them perched, on a bird house, tall tree, telephone lines by the road or any place that gives them an advantage! It is a thrill to watch them hunt our backyard field. They are so keen, I only need to open the house door and step out and you can hear their "klee-klee-klee", "killy, killy, killy" as they all scatter to the trees. I have heard they will take small birds but have (thank goodness) yet to witness such a feat. I have seen the adults perch near the bird houses where tree swallows have nested, the swallows dive bomb them, but the kestrels just sit there bobbing to avoid a hit, unfazed and leave only when they are ready.
Click here to read more about Kestrels and hear their sound!
It certainly has been a treat to watch these magnificent falcons this summer and hope it will be repeated year after year! Enjoy :) Coppertop