Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Was that an American Kestrel across the Street? August 18, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Birds,Seasons,Summer — saltthesandbox @ 12:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday morning I heard a “killy killy killy killy killy” sound coming from the treetops across the street. It sounded like this: (play sound file). My first guess was American Kestrel. My second guess was a local Blue Jay who does a good impression of a Kestrel.

I walked down the sidewalk to a break in the trees, so I could see the top of a neighbor’s spruce where Kestrels have perched before. The boys followed with their cameras, and this is what we saw:

As soon as we saw the bird at the top of the spruce tree we could tell it was a Kestrel and not a Blue Jay. Kestrels are small falcons, and this bird had the classic falcon shape in silhouette.

As soon as we saw the bird at the top of the spruce tree, we could tell it was a Kestrel and not a Blue Jay. Kestrels are small falcons, and this bird had the classic falcon shape in silhouette. Photo by Aaron Gyllenhaal.

A closer look showed it was a male Kestrel, because the breast was more spotted that streaked. (There are also color differences not visible in this photo.) Photo by Aaron Gyllenhaal.

A closer look showed it was a male Kestrel, because the breast was more spotted that streaked. (There are also color differences not visible in this photo.) Photo by Aaron Gyllenhaal.

So, mystery solved! One other thing: We had very few small birds at our feeder for the next hour or two.

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Check these links for more information about American Kestrels:

 

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