Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

American kestrel

"Most common call is a series of sharp staccato notes like 'klee, klee, klee', given during disturbances at the nest"--Donald and Lillian Stokes

We see kestrels often in our tract home neighorhood. One Fall evening last year, a kestrel hovered in staunch wind, remaining stationary in mid-air. A kestrel is a small falcon, a relative of the hawks. Kestrels hunt mice, which prove abundant in the grasslands in which we live. Unlike the red-tailed hawks, they do not perch for hours on end on telephone poles, staring at the ground. They hover and dart and seize and flutter, a predator with a lighter touch. I've met human kestrels, haven't you? Charm and flutter and inspiration and style, but gently set in their skulls lies a raptor's eyes, perhaps in stunning gray blue. That poet said that some men are too gentle to live among wolves. Leaving aside that the poem's denouemont satisfies nobody except perhaps June Cleaver, I find that wolf-life is largely overrated in any event. But I still watch to see a kestrel fly sometimes, with shining eyes, naked ambition, and an artistic flair. They do their job, they flutter, and I just watch in awe.

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