American Kestrel or Sparrow-Hawk birds - 19 photos of a Kestrel nest + family + others...
American Kestrel or Sparrow-Hawk, birds of prey. This 9 page report with by now
19 Kestrel pictures (updated 04, 2011) contains a previously not recorded picture scoop of
an American Kestrel bringing in a Rabbit kill. To be viewed on page 3...
At the end of March 2000, when I was looking to photograph birds in a particular area of
Ellis Bay, MO, in the vicinity of Alton, IL, I parked not too far from a giant dead Sycamore tree. Scanning the tree’s odd shaped branches, I spotted an American Kestrel (a female,
as became clear) some 25 yards from the ground. Since the small raptor didn’t take off,
I got intrigued. Tiptoeing I moved closer for a possible shot. A few minutes later a male arrived, announced by his shrill “klee, klee”... He brought a prize snack for the pairing.
Within half an hour, after the female had ingested the lure, they mated.
From experience I knew that raptors usually mate in close vicinity of a nest location.
I returned every 2 to 3 days in the course of a week and got to observe and photograph
their very brief couplings a few times. The nest revealed itself to be in the same tree.
To capture the unfolding saga, I first had to find a good spot with an unobstructed field
of view. With a healthy tree that might not have been possible...