A Raptor on the Roof

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Got kestrels? Check your cornices.

photo credit: Tony Hisgett

The pigeon-sized falcons get a lot less love than their more glamorous fellows the red-tailed hawk and the peregrine falcon. At the New York Times, though, there’s plenty of praise for the avian New Yorkers, whose young are fledging this week and next across the city.

Kestrels, says City Room, are “truly birds of the street” — except mid-migration, they “generally avoid large parks and less densely populated areas like Staten Island” (me too!).

Instead, they congregate in older neighborhoods, like on the Upper West Side and the Lower East Side, and in the South Bronx and Park Slope, all of which are loaded with the late 19th- and early 20th-century cornices they depend on for nesting.

And if kestrels have chosen to nest at your place, it sounds like they’re very good house guests: the birds of pray are known to keep the pest population under control, eating (among other things) both cockroaches and mice. Seen any around the neighborhood?

 

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