Kestrels hunting insects

Yesterday I discovered in the air above my garden two kestrels, which were performing exciting flight maneuvers.

Nothing like a typical "hover flight":

They were dashing agile to and fro and

first their dynamic acrobatically looking flights didn't make any sense to me;

Until I finally noticed, that their claws again and again went to their beak. They were hunting for insects in the air!

At eye level a remarkable number of big dragonflies were flying around in my garden. Were the kestrels after such a flock of dragonflies at a higher level or did they hunt for flying ants which hatched after the first rainfalls? Unfortunately I cannot say. It was the first time, that I saw kestrels hunting in the air for insects and I was very impressed how fast and maneuverable they were doing that. They were performing zigzag leaping, flew head over to immediately turn again. What a spectacle!

October 10 2010

Birgit Kremer

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