Friday, June 26, 2009

What Happens during a storm to the Kestrel Babies?

Did you ever wonder where these young birds go
or what they do when a sudden storm, which they
have never experienced comes up? I got to
document two of the young birds who were in
the 'tree' during just such an event.
The wind was blowing pretty strong and the
rain was coming down sideways. If you click you
can actually see the sideways rain.
(sorry about the low light)

There was a lot of flapping of wings....

trying to stay upright as the wind blew and the rain fell

I watched for about 7 minutes getting lots of pictures just
like this one.

I felt helpless looking out the window all dry and
safe, while they struggled
They remained vigilant and strong and weather the
storm as well as they could.

After awhile they hugged the tree trunk and stopped
flapping and struggling and settled in until the rain

I call this 'right out of the shower' pose.. all puffed up
and waiting to dry off

As soon as they start to dry .. they preen. About 40% of
a Kestrel's life is spent preening..after all wing maintenance
is essential to flying.

Are you saying: Is she done yet?
I have to say I have so many
pictures but am winding
down to the end.

These days I see only glimpses
of the babies who are looking
more like adults and
acting grown too.

Last year they were all gone by
mid July and I predict they
will be gone sooner this year.

They fledged early and are skilled and strong..

Next post I'll share a play session on the
roof antennae above.

AND then... I'll do a post on the
Best Of Show!!
Pictures I got at random in
good light and after work when
I could get up close and personal

Then, it will be bye bye Kestrels for
another year and on to
something different.

To God Be The Glory ~~ Great Things He Hath done

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

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