Thursday, March 7, 2013

American Kestrels returning

It may be time to prepare your kestrel box for returning birds! I was happy to see an American Kestrel spending some time in the Stratford area in the first week of March. It was seen from Stratford Point to the airport and Great Meadows as it hunted over the now uncovered earth. Now that the snow has melted and the calendar turned we are seeing a lot of familiar faces coming back on the still drab landscape. I took a couple photos of it as it flew around the airport one afternoon.

After what feels like a very long winter this male is a refreshing splash of color. The vibrant shades really stand out in this part of the year. The view of the bird against the building and compared to branches shows you how small they are as well. We tend to think of the raptors as sizable predators but this tiny falcon would easily fit into your hand. I mentioned cleaning out those boxes - at Stratford Point we will once again be fighting an uphill battle against European Starlings in order to give the kestrels a chance to nest in a box on the site. It is very difficult to accomplish in a coastal suburban region but we will give it a go while hoping that we can avoid too many disruptive spring storms as well.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photos by Scott Kruitbosch © Connecticut Audubon Society and not to be reproduced without explicit CAS permission

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