Snapshots: Mouse Hunting in the Evening Light

We’ve been working with a Nankeen Kestrel for about a week or more now.  At first it was a casual acquaintance, but like all things after awhile it gets a little easier to predict what an an individual bird will do.

We dropped by on our way home from a day at the You Yangs Park, looking we thought for Robins. Not that we had much luck.
But the sunshine was holding in the evening light and we decided to see how the Kestrel was doing.   I have just about concluded that it’s a first year male, who is still in juvenile dress.  I might be wrong, but the light tail feathers and lack of barring are a good sign.

Found (him) sitting quietly on a branch over the paddock.  So I decided to walk up through the grass and see if I could get closer, and perhaps get a better angle. And he sat.

Huge amounts of supposition going on here, however I am pretty much convinced that as I walked through the grass, mice in the area fled, but toward the Kestrel.  Suddenly the head bobbed back and forth, and then he dropped.

DWJ_2181.jpg

 

Either way, he landed on a rock just a few metres in front of me and stood motionless.  Then walked along the rock, dropped off, and after a bit of rustling in the grass was back on the rock with dinner.   Very neat, very efficient and very quick.

Hey, there's a mouse, just down there.
Hey, there’s a mouse, just down there.
See. its just behind the rock.
See. its just behind the rock.
Over here, I'll show you.
Over here, I’ll show you.
Told you.
Told you.
See there it is.
See here it is.
Time to go.
Time to go
And back to a quiet perch
And back to a quiet perch
Mouse in the evening sunshine. El fresco dining.
Mouse in the evening sunshine. El fresco dining
Pfffff!!! Mouse fur on my beak tickles
Pfffff!!! Mouse fur on my beak tickles

 

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5 thoughts on “Snapshots: Mouse Hunting in the Evening Light

  1. A beaut sequence, David. He is obviously comfortable with you there as he has perceived that you are no threat. It is wonderful to be able to work with a particular bird.

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  2. From branch to rock to ground to rock to branch. Couldn’t get better than that, and looks like he really trusted you. Such an awesome sequence. Hope you find him many more times!

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  3. Well done David, such clear close shots, and you helped him get dinner and watch him catch it, what a bonus. I am so looking forward to seeing my first Red-capped Robin male one day when I get south again. We have plenty of Eastern Yellows, and some have sighted Red-caps near Sydney they think displaced because of the drought and extreme summer heat. Have a wonderful week!

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