land than he flutters down for
a quick copulation, something
they’ll do repeatedly throughout
the nesting season, as much a
part of their pair bonding as the
physical need to fertilize eggs.
And it’s an encouraging sign that
the nest box beside our garage
will again host a family of bug
Okay, they’re not hawks,
but falcons—not even close to
hawks, according to the latest
genetic evidence, but near cous-
ins to parrots. And the name
“bug hawk” is a bit pejorative,
something I’ve heard falcon-
ers (and more than a few hawk
watchers who prefer bigger,
beefier, more robustly predatory
raptors like goshawks or eagles)
But don’t let size fool you.
Pint-sized raptors like kestrels
may look dainty, but hunting is
hunting, and a kestrel tackling
a meadow vole is, proportion-
ately, about the same as a human
deciding to kill, say, a 50-pound
pig with her bare hands and
teeth. Let’s see you try it.
There are plenty of accounts
Male American kestrel.