Wednesday, April 2, 2014

American Kestrel: Virginia's Smallest Falcon and a New Species

I always welcome new visitors to my camera traps.

Here's my most recent and newest visitor.
This is an American Kestrel.  A beautiful bird, a small falcon, and a hungry predator.

This is the first time I've ever gotten one on a camera-trap.

Kestrels are not your "typical" predatory bird.  They're tiny compared to most eagles and hawks.

They are closely related to peregrine falcons and share the fast-paced and quick turns that are common of the falcons.  What's really interesting about this specific one is that it is on a deer carcass in the snow.  It chewed at the tendons of the deer for about 4 minutes and then flew off.

Also, you are not seeing wrong, that is snow on the ground on March 22nd in Virginia.  Not completely out of the question for late March here, but it was an interesting sight.

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