American Kestrel looks fierce and cute at the same time.
I saw this bird and others on Saturday during a solo 1.1-mile walk in the Martin County section of the wonderfully unique Savannas Preserve, off Jensen Beach Boulevard.
Entrance fee is $3, self service. There is a picnic pavilion and a bathroom building.
The main trail heads off into the wild.
Holly berries gave a festive, late autumn look to an otherwise not very autumnal landscape – at least for those of us who have lived in north most of our lives. This is Dahoon holly, I think.
Great Egret heading in the other direction.
Main trail goes straight. This time I took the side trail to the right, heading east towards a lower, wetter area.
Northern Mockingbird posed on a stump.
Wildflowers in bloom.
A group of Wood Storks was feeding near a Great Egret.
Holly and a nest box, at the edge of the wetlands.
Wood Storks took off and then I counted them (two others went in another direction).
My eBird checklist for the walk is HERE.
Great Blue Heron was standing very still.
A came upon a large trap. I guessed it might be for wild pigs, which can be such a problem in Florida.
A pair of Anhingas.
Raccoon has been here.
This part of the trail was a bit muddy from recent rains.
Mystery track. Sort of cat-like and cat-sized. Domestic cat out for a prowl? Fox?
Sort of boring yet oddly beautiful landscape, to me.
Silvery saw palmettos between the freshwater marsh grass and slash pines.
I heard this kestrel calling before I saw it.
American Kestrels have a fairly limited set of calls, but the most common one is a loud, excited series of 3-6 klee! or killy! notes lasting just over a second. It’s distinctive and an excellent way to find these birds. You may also hear two other common calls: a long whine that can last 1–2 minutes, heard in birds that are courting or feeding fledglings, and a fast chitter, usually used by both sexes in friendly interactions.
A bit windy that day.
North America’s littlest falcon, the American Kestrel packs a predator’s fierce intensity into its small body. It’s one of the most colorful of all raptors: the male’s slate-blue head and wings contrast elegantly with his rusty-red back and tail; the female has the same warm reddish on her wings, back, and tail. Hunting for insects and other small prey in open territory, kestrels perch on wires or poles, or hover facing into the wind, flapping and adjusting their long tails to stay in place.