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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bird on our roof

A kestrel tried to land on the television antenna bolted to the roof of our neighbor's building, startling both my wife and I. He had not expected to see the two of us watching the sunset a few yards away. Like a mouse's skill at squeezing under a closed door, he instinctually careened through narrow canyons formed by rows of closely spaced stone buildings. We should have seen him coming, but the small, agile falcon seemed to have just appeared out of thin air. Virtually unseen (especially by the sparrows that he regularly hunted), his precision flying traced the profile of the building until he burst out into the open for a quick reconnaissance. It took an instant for him to realize he was not alone on the roof and abruptly change course. In the blink of an eye he passed over us, over the crest of a mature maple tree that casts a shadow down on our roof, across 5th Street, then, as quickly as he appeared, descended out of sight between the next row of brownstones.

(Photo credit - Sean Sime)


Pamela said...

our friendly (ahem) Kestrel thinks our backyard feeder is smorgasboard for falcons. I've seen him fly right into the spruce tree to nab a sparrow or finch.

Now today there was rabbit fur in the neighbors yard. I suspect a much larger hawk with black wing tips that has been flying around for several days.

Rob Jett said...

Yes, they may be feisty and pugnacious, but a rabbit would be a difficult catch for even the most cocky kestrel. When I see them in action, I sometimes forget that they are not much larger than a robin.

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