- I've had a couple of, "not too often seen" birds in my yard, recently. A new yard bird, an American Kestrel, was first seen the end of Jan./Feb, hunting from a dead snag, at the back of my property. There is a four acre field behind this snag. I had another brief, but very interesting, sighting of, I assume, the same kestrel, a couple of weeks ago.
I was in my yard, when I heard, a yelp,looked up to see a bird, flying away from me, that was oddly shaped. It was the kestrel, that had just snatched a juv. or female cardinal, from behind, as the cardinal was in flight, trying to escape, or perhaps, did not even see the predator approaching. The cardinal had it's left wing, outstretched, in flight, so it appeared to be an extension of the kestrel, which gave the odd shape. A split second later, both a crow and a mockingbird, were in pursuit of the kestrel. The crow knocked the rear of the kestrel, causing the kestrel to drop the cardinal and it flew off, in a different direction, with the crow and mockingbird, still giving chase. The, very lucky, cardinal, escaped! It was one of those couple second birding events, that I will, likely, never see again.
Last week-end, while in my yard, I heard a very loud and distinct, "Bob White" call, that quickly caught my attention. The bird, was standing next to my tool shed building, also close to the 4 acre field. It continued to call and forage at the back of my property, then into a neighbor's yard. This is the third Northern Bobwhite I have seen in my yard, in twenty-six years.
Yesterday, I saw my first of season Swallow-tailed Kite, soaring over my yard. Also, yesterday, five Great-crested flycatchers hatched in a nesting box, I'm monitoring for Cornell. I'm including a link to a small photo album of GCF. If you've never seen one of their nests, it's quite interesting, and so different from the bluebird's nest that I monitor. She has dried grasses, leaves, a couple different bird feathers, two different shedded snake skins, a couple pieces of a Publix plastic shopping bag, animal fur, that I'm fairly sure came from the German Sheppard, next door. The last three pictures are of the nest, eggs and nestlings.
My early nesting wrens have completed their third nest, back inside my garage. Bluebird, incubating second clutch, witnessed the chickadees fledging, and also monitored a mockingbird nest, without bloodshed. :)
Enjoy your yardbirds!