As many or most of the images show, utility wires (also posts) are a favourite perch for kestrels. They get an unimpeded view of the only thing that really matters in their lives – outside the breeding season, of course – PREY.
In my experience it’s quite rare to see AMKEs on the ground – unless they are in the act of ripping up some hapless rodent pinned to the earth. I was with photographer Tom Sheley when he captured this fine bird in the grass.
Tom also took this outstanding photo, on an overcast day, of a kestrel feeding its fledgeling a large insect.
An AMKE at Treasure Cay
A richly-coloured specimen
A kestrel in streamlined flight, with its feet tucked tightly under its body
Bird on the Wire
Credits: Bruce Hallett (1, 11); Charles Skinner (2); Peter Mantle (3, 9); Tom Sheley 4, 5, 6); Nina Henry (7); Keith Salvesen (10); Tom Reed (8)
You can read about Fregata magnificens and their courtship displays, gular pouches, nesting habits, names, uses to mankind (if any), and 10 magnificent facts about them at my Rolling Harbour site HERE. These birds are sky-pirates, stealing fish in the air from other birds. Tropicbirds are a particular target. They catch fish and keep them in their gullets as they fly back to the nest to feed their young. The frigatebirds will swoop on them, catch them by the leg and hold them upside-down until they regurgitate the fish. Often the frigate bird will manage to release the tropicbird and dive to catch the fish before it hits the water.
CLICK LOGO TO VIEW A BBC / DAVID ATTENBOROUGH CLIP OF AN AERIAL ROBBERY
Film clip: Female FB has TB by the leg & shakes it until the fish (circled) drops out
A MAN-O-WAR GALLERY
A male in flight (a most unusual shot, taken from above)
Juveniles being delinquent
A female in flight: the white front is the invariable distinguishing feature
10 FACTS ABOUT FRIGATEBIRDS
The largest of several frigatebird species around the world
Found in tropical and subtropical waters
Females have white fronts – easily distinguishable from males in flight
Adult wingspan is 7+ feet = largest wing-area / bodyweight ratio of any bird
Can remain in flight and far out to sea for many days