Sunday, January 25, 2009
Man defeated by kestrel
Half an hour on the windy Promenade this afternoon was enough for this 160-pound, well-insulated human male, but the 4-ounce kestrel seemed to be taking in the cold in stride. He was perched about a block away from the streetlamp,near the water, bob-bob-bobbing his tail. He did take off once for a short loop through the air. This is called hawking, even when its done by non-raptors: the birds circle through the air to pick off insects before returning to a perch. Of course, there were no bugs in this weather, which is bringing down boreal birds (white-winged crossbills & snow buntings have been reported) to the region. There are a couple of rough grassy areas near both the lamp perch and the fence perch that rodents and small birds can enjoy, however. When I left, the kestrel was still there.