Back to the Birds

When politics, robo-calls and rhetoric get to be too much, going back to nature is the cure. So today, post-election, I’m taking the cure and bringing you along. Back in April we told you about a pair of kestrels who were moving into the tree in our front yard. After the initial mating period we would only see them occasionally and then they disappeared. We thought for sure they had abandoned our tree and moved on. But last week the action picked up again. There he was sitting on the wire and as fast as a blink, he’d go in the hole and back out. This was happening pretty regularly and we observed the female doing the same. Our assumption: chicks! Considering that they incubate the eggs for 30 days, this is about right. These two are really wary so taking a picture has been impossible.

Kestrels call this home.

A perk having these birds around: vermin control. Well maybe. Curt watched a chipmunk run up the tree trying to evade the male this morning. The kestrel landed and the chipmunk hid. Slowly the chipmunk started creeping down the tree, swoop! Kestrel flew in! Chipmunk escaped up, again. One more attempt by the chipper but the kestrel missed once more. Chipmunk finally figured out if he went down on the backside of the tree he could run like crazy and get out-of-town before the kestrel noticed. Well, better luck next time.

These aren’t the only nesters we have on our property. Two nest boxes on the “back forty” are occupied. Also fast flyers but I managed to get a couple of shots to prove residency.

Bluebird on a branch near the box

Eastern Bluebird

Bluebirds are in the box built for them. Above is the male wondering when I’m going to leave so he can go inside.  Below are the tree swallows who have managed to fight off the sparrows and take over another old box we had originally constructed for bluebirds. Shooting at two different times I managed to get a male (bright  metallic blue head) and a female (duller brown/blue) peeking out of the box.

male tree swallow

female tree swallow

Check back. If I can get pictures when everybody fledges, you’ll be the first to know.

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3 thoughts on “Back to the Birds

  1. Wonderful photos! I think it’s fascinating watching birds nest and care for their babies. I wish I new that trick about the chipmunks back at our house in Connecticut – I would have hired a few Kestrels! The chipmunks destroyed our entire lawn (good thing they’re so cute!).

    • Our local city is wising up to kestrels too. They are putting up nest boxes to hopefully attract the birds to help with their mouse and rat problems.

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