American Kestrels in the Yard

Back in early July, while at Meadowbrook,  my country place, I kept hearing an unusual bird cry in the vicinity of the front yard by our ancient Wogan ash tree. I would describe the cries as a mournful keening. I could barely see a bird silhouette to make out what was carrying on so. The next day, in the afternoon, there were even more calls, so I decided to grab my SONY camera to try to capture a photo of what I was hearing.

Up in the top of the ash looking down at me was this:

A baby kestrel clinging to the ash

A baby kestrel clinging to the ash

Then, I realized there were more.

Two baby kestrels on the ash

Two baby kestrels on the ash

These must have recently left the nest. Here’s a close up of one keening:

Sad little guy

Sad little guy

 

Then I saw a third kestrel on another branch. Movement made the photo unfocused but you can better see the side markings which helped identify the birds.

Rather colorful from the side

Rather colorful from the side

 

Finally, there was a fourth kestrel up in the pin oak close by in the side yard.

third-kestrel

They were obviously trying to get a feel for holding on a flying because there was a lot of movement back and forth between the trees and they were still having difficulty being graceful about holding onto branches or flying. This was the first time I’d ever seen this type of bird, though we do have hawks of different sort.

Since it gives much better information in one place, here’s a National Geographic link that will inform you of most anything you’d like to know about the American Kestrel including a sound file.

American Kestrel

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