May 10, 2010

Kestrels in Queens

I've been thinking about adding different species of raptors to the blog lately, and Kestrels seemed a likely candidate. Besides Red-tailed Hawks, only Peregrine Falcons and Kestrels are commonly seen nesting in NYC. Falcons can be difficult to view as they often nest high up on bridges and can be difficult to follow. I've done some research and couldn't confirm any Peregrine Falcons nesting in Queens (although I am sure they are in Queens somewhere). Kestrels on the other hand seem far more abundant in NYC, and research has turned up at least 3 nests to watch. The first one I visited is in Long Island City, not far from the East River. I was at the site for only about 15 minutes when a female landed on a building close to where I believed the nest was.

She left and came back to the same place on several occasions, the last time only being gone for less than a minute. Sometime within that minute, she managed to snag a baby bird, possibly stealing it from a nest.

The male arrived several minutes after the female finished her meal and called out to her, and the two left together.

If I can find the nest I may decide to keep up with this pair for the summer, especially during the fledging period.

1 comment:

Yojimbot said...

Look for a nearby building with at rusted out cornice between 5 and 9 stories tall. The fact that you heard him calling means it was within view.