Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Chinatown kestrels

The same day I found the pair of red-tailed hawks on a billboard near the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge, I came upon a pair of kestrels not far away, near Chatham Square.

Chinatown kestrels
Female on the left, male on the right.

This is the same pair I previously found on South Street.  The male of this pair has very distinctive markings, which makes him easy to identify.  His tail is striped black and white when it would normally be rusty reddish orange.  He also has a lot of black spots on his chest.

Male kestrel with tail variation

The female of this pair seems to have a damaged tail feather, which is visible here.  This could help identify her when she's flying.

Female kestrel with damaged tail feather

While I watched the kestrels fly around, the female perched on a cornice, making herself a cute earring for this head.

Female kestrel

I didn't have much time to watch the birds as I had to catch a bus a couple of blocks away.  Reluctantly, I left the kestrels and walked to the bus stop.  But to my surprise, the female kestrel zipped right by me and landed on a nearby building.

Female kestrel

A few seconds later, the male joined her.

Chinatown kestrels

And then...

Mating kestrels

Mating kestrels

Mating kestrels

Chinatown kestrels

Chinatown kestrels

Mating took all of three seconds, just long enough for my bus to arrive.

See more kestrel photos here.