COMMON KESTREL (chougenbou)

c. kestrel back view 22

  November 29, 2015     Yesterday was a cloudy day, but the weather report called for no rain, so Tabi, (our dog) and I went for a walk. As always, I had my camera with me even though the light was relatively poor for photography. As we were walking our usual route among the rice fields towards Homan River, I spotted a bird of prey a few hundred meters away perched on an electric pole. As I was trying to get closer to see if  I could identify it, it took flight and headed my way, landing on another pole very close by. It was a common kestrel, (chougenbou) which I sometimes see around here, but I had never seen one this close before. I was happily surprised it didn’t fly away, even after tying Tabi to a guardrail and walking around it’s perch to take different shots. It made occasional, short forays every five minutes or so, each time scattering a large group of oriental greenfinches, (kawarahiwa) and Eurasian tree sparrows, (suzume) who were foraging in freeshly plowed under rice fields that had been harvested a few weeks ago. This pattern lasted for about an hour, but I never witnessed the kestrel press home an attack on a small bird, which they sometimes eat if they kind can’t find their normal prey, small mammals.    I gave Tabi her usual jerky stick for being such a patient and understanding pal, and we headed home.

common kestrel, chougen bou 2a
male common kestrel, chougen bou
ch bo 3
oriental greenfinches, (kawarahiwa) and Eurasion tree sparrows, (suzume)

common kestrel, chougen bou 1



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