A fantastic photo of American Kestrel, Falco sparverius in flight, taken by photographer Brian Zwiebel. Brian is helping with photos for an OOS conservation display. Fortunately, my involvement with OOS, one of the most active bird organizations in Ohio and beyond, has garnered me opportunities to meet some very talented and caring people.
Better yet, the American Kestrels at The Wilds are also beneficiaries of these relationships. OOS has undertaken a partnership with The Wilds and some of the great people at AEP to promote raptor conservation. So far 4-6 American Kestrel nesting boxes have been mounted on poles near the vast open grassland at The Wilds. Additional raptor poles have been sited to creating perches for some of our favorite wintertime visitors from the north. Hopefully, this January we will get to see a Golden Eagle “utilizing“ those AEP utility poles, too! J (Take note Leps: The Wilds is developing some terrific butterfly habitats as well)
American Kestrels have been much discussed on the Ohio-Birds List-serv as their over all numbers are in decline. This lovely falcon, formerly known as the Eastern Sparrow Hawk, with its stunning coloration and blackened “helmet” was a most memorable sighting from my youth. On a family vacation to Malabar Farm, we found one perched on a fence post. Even a non-birding family took note of such a vibrantly colored raptor, pumping his tail with shear testosterone-stoked macho. It sent us scurrying for a Peterson guide, and we cinched the ID.
Let’s keep working to ensure other kids will have the opportunity to see these magnificent birds, hovering over fields in search of insects, rodents and the occasional Chick-fil-A.