For the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing a kestrel in the park a couple of blocks from us. When we came home from the grocery store Saturday morning, he was sitting in a tree in the backyard eating a junco. In the world of raptors, the American kestrel seems like a wee one, not particularly scary, but that’s only true if one is not a small bird, rodent, insect, etc. There is certainly a reason they are also called “sparrow hawks.” I know the life of a bird of prey is a hard one, particularly in the winter, but poor little junco! All the small birds in the yard were yelling at the kestrel. I could imagine him saying, “Hey, I’ve got to eat too.” The bluejays were dive-bombing him over and over, but he stayed until he finished his breakfast. What I found really interesting about this is how all the birds worked cooperatively to try and run him off. Bluejays are known for sometimes eating smaller birds, but they were quick to join the sparrows and juncos in the fight against the larger predator. Once again, I am in awe of the life and death struggles that take place around we humans that so many of us never seem to notice. I won’t post the particularly graphic pics (I think this one is quite enough). Click on pictures to enlarge.
Another junco looks on.