Wednesday, May 30, 2012

American Kestrel

These photos are from google image, as I haven't been able to get a good picture of the ones we have nesting on our barn.

The American Kestrel also known as the Sparrow Hawk is the smallest falcon and raptor in North America.  They range in size from 7.5 - 12" with a 20 - 24" wing span.  The male weights 2.8 - 4.2 oz. and the female 4.2 - 5.9 oz.  The life span of the Kestrel in the wild is 5 years.  They typically eat grasshoppers, dragonflies, lizards and mice.  However, they do eat other small birds.

The reason for this post....

A few years back, we agreed to let the Marathon County Bird Club put up a nesting box on the side of our barn.  They were hoping that a pair of Kestrels would take up residence there.  It took a year or two to attract the Kestrel, but now we have had several years of these falcons flying around our fields.

They are beautiful, talkative (making many unique calls) and we do like to have them around.  However, this year, they have decided to prey on my small chicks.  These little ones are like chicken nuggets to those falcons.  I've seen the mama hens run to cover with her wings covering her little ones.  I have decided to keep the smaller chicks in cages with their mamas for at least a month till they are a bit bigger. 

That is life and nature after all....

Blessings from Wisconsin.
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