Monday, March 16, 2009

American Kestrel

This is likely the most colorful falcon in the world. Her handler told us that she dines on large insects, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and small birds like female grackles (not males). Her name is "Hanna Banana", and for a very interesting reason. When she kills a grackle, she preludes dining on her by grabbing the back of its neck and peeling her back - like a banana.

Although kestrels are known to live in open or semi-wooded country, they are not intimidated by human activity. As a result, they are very adaptable to other environments. The panhandle is considered to be in its breeding and summer grounds.

A half block down the road, this kestrel picked a high perch to scope the area out for a meal. This one is not Hanna Banana. The following two photos are of the first American Kestrel I've photographed in the "wild". They were taken in a residential section of Amarillo.

I don't know if this one was going after a meal, or just moving on to other "restaurants", but I was able to catch it in flight as it left the antenna.

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