An Out of the Ordinary Jersey Bird

American Kestrel perched in a tree

American Kestrel perched in a tree

kestrel on line flying kestrel kestrel hoveringToday, I had the opportunity to see a bird that’s considered out of the ordinary for my state. Although common elsewhere, the American Kestrel is considered a Species of Special Concern in New Jersey, most likely due to shrinking areas of grassland needed for its habitat.

The kestrel that I saw flew fairly close to where I was walking. It landed in a tree and then moved to a few different branches before perching on a nearby wire. Moments later, it was in the air. It hovered in place while beating its wings, before suddenly diving down. It’s amazing how it can stay in one spot, despite the wind. The kestrel put on quite a display searching for food before I lost track of it. I couldn’t tell if it succeeded in catching anything or not.

Guide books describe the American Kestrel as a raptor of the falcon family, similar in size to a mourning dove or a jay. They are very attractive-looking; the colored patterns on the underside of the kestrel reminded me of a common flicker.

An American Kestrel in central New Jersey was certainly an out of the ordinary sight for me.


10 responses to “An Out of the Ordinary Jersey Bird

  1. That’s just so cool that you saw one in the wild.

  2. That’s a beautiful bird. I occasionally see them here in Georgia. Great picture!

  3. We have a large variety of predators that seem to like to hang out around the neighborhood. I’m hoping to get a better camera soon so I can document them better. With the doves returning, the predator population has increased dramatically, you see a dove getting chased down every day it seems.

  4. What a joy to open my email and see this beauty.

  5. Just gorgeous. I didn;t realize it was considered a species of special concern in NJ, although I know it is generally in peril. But here across the mighty Hudson in Manhattan, kestrels seem to be, oddly, thriving. They nest in broken cornices of old buildings all over the city. For more info with super photos, follow The Origin of Species blog at

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