Entranced by kestrels

This post is the product of an entrancing two hours with the Australian Kestrel family on the Moolort Plains. As mentioned previously [see post], the nestlings first feed arrived on the dot at 8am, then again at 8.06, 8.25, 8.42 and 8.55. I lost count after that but all up there were about ten feeding visits between 8 and 10am. Each visit was signalled by vigorous, noisy begging by the nestlings as they spotted an adult nearby.

Australian Kestrel chicks begging as adult approaches, Moolort Plains, 15th January 2013.

Australian Kestrel chicks begging as adult approaches, Moolort Plains, 15th January 2013.

One of the parents perched above the hollow with a grasshopper.

One of the parents (the female I think) perched above the hollow with a grasshopper.

On some occasions the adult would make a shallow dive directly into the nest, while other times it would perch in the nest tree, above the hollow, before making its delivery. Each feeding visit lasted just a few seconds.

Descending into the nest from a nearby perch.

Descending into the nest from a nearby perch.

It seems I’ve been incorrect in my assertion regarding the absence of the male bird! The photograph below shows one of the parents arriving at the nest at around 9am. On closer inspection it clearly has a grey tail with pale barring and a grey crown, rather than the rufous, strongly barred tail and rufous crown of the female.

The male arriving at the nest.

The male arriving at the nest.

Male Australian Kestrel about to depart the nest hollow.

Male Australian Kestrel about to depart the nest hollow.

This individual is clearly a female - note the colour of the barred tail and crown.

This individual is clearly the female – note the colour of the barred tail and crown.

Feeding visits were brief and efficient.

Feeding visits were brief and efficient.

One response to “Entranced by kestrels

  1. He is a very dapper looking bird isn’t he.
    Love the wing turn on the last image.

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