Tuesday, March 15, 2011

American Kestrel

Erika and I photographed a pair of Kestrels near Big Woods State Park, Minnesota, on 14 March 2011.  The day was warm at 40 degrees F and there was some snow melt--you can see that both members of the pair had wet tails.  The male was more skittish than the female, who obliged us with the closeup photo below.

American Kestrels nest in cavities.  They use either natural holes in trees or abandoned woodpecker cavities. Rock crevices and holes in buildings are also used. Kestrels readily use nest boxes, and the MN Department of Natural Resources has placed such boxes on the back of some Interstate road signs in the state. Males usually migrate before females. Females then select males. Males locate and lead females to nest cavities within their territories. The females then make the final nest selection (Smallwood and Bird 2002).

1 comment:

  1. Nice shots of a beautiful bird. How lucky to see the pair. I've only ever seen the males by themselves. My son's been on the lookout for his first kestrel -- maybe we'll head over toward Nerstrand.