Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Great kestrel flight

The second warm front in a fairly short time brought a second wave of American Kestrels passing Sandy Hook yesterday. On the 6th I had 67 kestrels; yesterday I got to 155. This is a respectable number, but by no means a record, for 2009 had 226 and 2008 had 179 for single day counts at Sandy Hook. Most recent years, however, the peak flight of the American Kestrel here has been double, not triple digits. This species is in decline throughout the Northeast, even though largely sedentary urban populations seem to be doing fine.

Like other falcons, American Kestrels are often midday or afternoon flyers, and indeed the majority of these birds passed in the afternoon.

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