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.
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.