Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Back to the Kestrels....

Last year there were 6 Fledglings.. 1 female and 5 males. The first ones out
of the nest were on June 19th. This years Kestrels were about 2 weeks early.
There were 2 females and 2 males. I believe the parents are the same from
last year by their behavior and their favorite perches. This years babies were more independent and learned to fly immediately. They seemed healthier and stronger than the fledglings from last year.

Now that the 4 baby Kestrels are out of the nest
I am watching them in the tree. This is what I
see when I look out the window. If you look
closely you will see the four Fledglings.
The light is often bad...and the leaves prove to
be more of a hindrance than a help

Sometimes I can get a decent shot of one of the Females

Or one of the handsome males

They are very curious and are always waiting on
the next food delivery.

Mom comes flying in and both baby Kestrels
get excited

But only one gets the catch... The female watches
as the male meets mom in the crook of the tree

Wings are flapping and voices are sounding...

But the first one there gets the food

Mom and Dad are seen daily sitting and watching
on top of the building on their respective perches

Notice how this baby is a boy.... blue on the wing
feathers and darker rufous on his back
In both sexes, the head is white with a bluish-grey top.
Both have two narrow, vertical black
facial markings on each side of the head

Often they seem to be conversing with each other

And this pose you have to recognize.... here comes the
food pose!

Mom delivers and the Female baby snatches it from her

The Male on the right has his mouth open, but I bet he
isn't going to get any of this mouse

As the Female turns to run with the food, notice
how she knocks the Male off his feet

She turns her back on him and covers the mouse
with her wings

And even though he tries to look at her, she pays no
attention and continues to eat

She scampers out of the picture and he turns
and looks so sad... or is that a pout?

Only a few seconds later he kicks it off and decides to

Stretching out the wing...

I should call this tree.... "The Feeding Tree" as there is
a lot of that going on all day long.

Can you imagine how tired you would be hunting for
and providing all the food for 4 hungry babies?
While also teaching them to hunt for themselves

They do an excellent job.
To God be the Glory ~~ Great Things He Hath Done


HANNIBAL said...

I loved this post showing the feeding! Their behavior is quite interesting, and for mama and papa to keep up with finding meals is amazing to me. That one shot with the male turning around after being shunned made me think of Charlie Brown. Then kicking his foot...Very funny captures!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I am constantly amazed at the pictures you get of Kestrals.These birds seem so like human children,as the look for food.

BirdBoy said...

The window of your house!! if thats true that awesome

Anonymous said...

You do have Kestrels in abundance. We or I had Coopers Hawks for several years and then they left this past February heading south, I think, and never came back. I assume they found new territories.

JKoenig said...

How fortunate you are to be able to watch this amazing story in person. I have enjoyed this series of blogs very much.

Tina said...

an excellent job indeed..that's a lot of flying and suppling for those two little hawks..
of course your photos are wonderful and you've captured them so nicely in action shots and stills! I can see why they parent birds are always so thin looking but the babies, they always resemble the cartoon "baby hugie"!
It's great being able to follow your posts of this family!!!

Shellmo said...

I just love the insite and beautiful photos you give us on these Kestrels! I love the hungry baby pose! And that pouting baby male made me chuckle - pool little guy!!

Bird Girl said...

The kestrel kids learn a lot about life in the 'fledging tree'! Only a trained eye would know they were there...in spite for their flurry of activity when feeding! Fun to see all their crazy antics :-)

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