Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River. The morning was grey and a little chilly. All of a sudden a bright sportster arrived! Our smallest falcon, the American Kestrel. He zipped in, landed for a heartbeat and zipped out over the dam. Whoosh! I worry about the kestrels as their reproductive capacity has dropped in the last 10 years or so, due to herbicides and pesticides. If you should spot one, would you send me notification of date, time, gender and a crossroads? I have been trying to get a sense of how many are still here in NC. I used to see them on the fence lines and power lines on a daily basis … now I am seeing them a couple of times a year.

Jordan Lake is always full of surprises and contrasts.
It is home to both the largest and smallest raptors in the US.
Both of the birds below were very proud of their catches this afternoon.
 
American Bald Eagle
 
length: 34-43 inches   weight: 168 oz   wingspan 72-96 inches
 
_ark4457 jl dam 24-01-19 18-12-08 2 eagle fish frame
American Kestrel (also the smallest falcon in the US)
 
length: 9-12 inches    weight: 3.9 oz   wingspan 20-24 inches
 
_ark4124 ranger cove 24-01-19 14-03-31 1 kestrel lizard_ark4127 ranger cove 24-01-19 14-03-46 1 kestrel lizard

I was at the Jordan Lake dam today, early…very early.
This male American kestrel flashed by me.
Sky was grey, he was fast, and the sun wasn’t helping my attempted shot.
But, as sometimes happens, the unintended is interesting…
so, here is the kestrel in the abstract.

walk6170-11-25-16-08-20-10-jordan-abstract-kestrel

_RK_3375 kestrel and frog 2014

The American Kestrel, size of a bluejay, is the smallest falcon in North America.
This male kestrel is undoubtedly the most colorful raptor in the same area.
He has caught a frog and is swiftly heading to a perch.