Kestrel and Kingfisher

Yesterday morning, I drove around some agricultural areas near Woodward, PA in search of winter raptors. I was rewarded with distant but still satisfying looks at five Rough-legged Hawks in addition to a few Red-tailed Hawks and American Kestrels. Running alongside one of the roads we drove was a small creek that hadn’t yet iced over. Perched on telephone wires above the creek were a male Belted Kingfisher and a male American Kestrel. The two birds were about 100 feet apart from each other. I have always sort of thought of the Belted Kingfisher as filling the same niche as the American Kestrel, only it hunts aquatic animals whereas the kestrel hunts terrestrial animals. Being able to see the two species side-by-side, the kingfisher scanning the water for prey and the kestrel scanning the tall grass for prey, was such a neat sight and I thought I would share some photos with you all.

American Kestrel - male (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Belted Kingfisher - male (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)