Sunday, March 6, 2011

American Kestrel

In April and May, the Dry Tortugas are an oasis for exhausted migratory landbirds crossing the Gulf of Mexico.  In February, we found only three landbird species: a few Palm Warblers, an Eurasian Collared-Dove, and this American Kestrel.

This relatively tame kestrel perched and fed Fort Jefferson's in the central courtyard.  Curiously, for such a common bird across most of North America, until this day I have had difficulty approaching one for a photograph. Kestrels feed on arthropods and small vertebrates, usually taking them on the ground.  Twice, this bird plummeted to the ground but I could not see what it captured.  Potential prey did not seem to be abundant.

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