Counting American Kestrels teed-up in the power lines along the last 100 miles of a trip to Shawnee State Forest provided some real smile-inducing travel. This lovely falcon, formerly known as the Eastern Sparrow Hawk, with it's stunning coloration and blackened “helmet” has a tendency to "pump" his tail with shear testosterone-stoked macho, and seeing five in one morning really "pumped" me up!
American Kestrels have been much discussed on the Ohio Birds list-serve as their over all numbers are in decline. And this month's Bird Watcher's Digest has an interesting Paul Baicich article on the American Kestrel's utilization of some power poles for nesting. Maybe that is what is going on along the roads to Shawnee.
This fantastic photo of American Kestrel, Falco sparverius in flight, was taken by Brian Zwiebel, a photographer who has helped with OOS’ conservation display. The OOS, one of the most active bird organizations in Ohio and beyond, has undertaken a partnership with The Wilds and some of the great people at AEP to promote raptor conservation. So far 5-6 American Kestrel nesting boxes have been mounted on poles near the vast open grassland at The Wilds. Look for the OOS display at the upcoming programs: Shreve Migration Sensation and Ohio Diversity Conference.