I recently introduced one of the four American kestrels (Falco sparvarius) raised in our hay shed this season. The four kestrel fledglings are flying about the yard, providing plenty of entertainment as they squabble among themselves for prime perching sites and food. They do prey on our large population of young California quail (Callipepla californica), however, that is simply the nature of things.
Very shortly the four young kestrels will set out on their own and only a couple kestrels (also called sparrow hawks), probably the parents, will remain around the house and barn throughout the winter.
As their time with us draws to a close, I will share a final gallery of kestrel “baby” pictures. In one photo the four young kestrels are in shadow on the ridgepole and hay slide atop our barn before sunrise. (I know they are the young ones because the parents were nearby.) The kestrel on the post is eating a baby quail while the second kestrel in another picture waits for its opportunity to steal the food. The remainder of the photographs were taken in our barnyard (Modoc County CA).
As I have said several times already this summer with other birds, goodbye to the kestrels until they begin to nest again next year. . . .