February 05, 2014

American kestrel

American kestrel by ricmcarthur
American kestrel, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This is the first time I've been able to get a decent photo of a kestrel.
They tend to be easily spooked and don't let you get close.

We were in Port Weller birding along the eastern end of the Welland Canal. The canal joins Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, by-passing Niagara Falls.
Lots of ducks, robins, starlings and the kestrel.

Falco sparverius
It can be tough being one of the smallest birds of prey. Despite their fierce lifestyle, American Kestrels end up as prey for larger birds such as Northern Goshawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Barn Owls, American Crows, and Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks, as well as rat snakes, corn snakes, and even fire ants.
Kestrels hide surplus kills in grass clumps, tree roots, bushes, fence posts, tree limbs, and cavities, to save the food for lean times or to hide it from thieves.

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