American Kestrel Bird and Nest Spotted on Rivington Street

Posted on: June 13th, 2013 at 6:20 am by
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Two leathery-looking dudes with tripod-mounted telephoto lenses attracted plenty of attention yesterday evening on Rivington Street. It seemed like nearly every passerby stopped to inquire about the subject of their gaze. Our initial reaction was paparazzi waiting for a starlet to open a window, or some such thing. Totally the opposite, in fact. Both were wildlife photographers capturing a unique bird in an unnatural habitat – the Lower East Side.

The lenses were trained on the cornice of 127 Rivington Street, where an American Kestrel (aka Sparrow Hawk) was perched for an extended period of time. This bird, the smallest in the falcon family, sat there guarding the nest that currently resides in the cornice directly across the way at 128 Rivington. Apparently there are younglings almost ready to flee the coop, and father falcon was on watch.

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The American Kestrel is the most abundant falcon in North America. According to Wikipedia, the birds can adapt to a diverse range of conditions, from the Arctic Circle to the tropics of Central America … to the streets of NYC. Living in an urban environment, its main food sources are insects, mice, and sometimes sparrows. They’ve even been known to give feral pigeons a run for their money.

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