Monday, 10 September 2012

Kestrels and Crows

Common Kestrel 
also known as Eurasian Kestrel

Niigata City, June -August 2012

Been lucky enough to know of kestrels living and nesting at a cement factory along the Shinano River in ever since I've been here.  This year they raised just two but other years I have photographed them with 4 or maybe 5. I don't remember exactly although it seemed to be a huge family in the past. (I'll have to find my old photographs) I'm guessing the smaller number this year is due to the eradication of trees along the river -less habitat for food. Also in the past I'd seen them with mice or voles but this year only sparrows for prey.

I just visited them four or five times throughout the summer and got these pics. On the last visit they had been overtaken by both Carrion and Large-billed Crows but they showed great courage trying to chase the much larger birds away. The photos were dull and taken well after 6 in the evening. They're also usually just a bit too far for my 400mm lens to reach and I don't want to go on to the private property.