Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Wild: Female Nankeen Kestral - Windhover

The Kestral - known to farmers as a Windhover or Sparrowhawk - live throughout semi cleared land - often found on fence posts or telegraph poles - often seen hovering above a likely source of food.

The female lacks the distinct black facial stripes of the male.

If baits for feral animals are misplaced, the Nankeen Kestral is often the first to die.  A stable population of these in and around a farm is a sign of good stewardship of the land.

In a recent field trip through western NSW I kept a careful watch for these birds - I tended to see healthy population around inhabited farms - but they were almost completely absent from large company run holdings.

On Wednesday on the Molonglo High Plains:

On Friday, hunting in the distance:

Also - a short sequence of high speed photos to show hovering in action.

Peter Quinton
July 2014

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