Keep­ing the crows at bay

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Our Wild World -

I was look­ing for kestrels hunt­ing along the grassy banks of the Tynemouth seafront and, as soon as I got out of my car at King Ed­ward’s Bay, I heard the un­mis­take­able call of a kestrel, fol­lowed by the squawk­ing of a crow. When I looked over the fence, I could see two crows at­tack­ing a young kestrel.

I man­aged to chase off the corvids, leav­ing a very be­wil­dered and fright­ened kestrel. Then, watch­ing from a dis­tance, I saw the fal­con’s mother at­tempt­ing to pro­tect the young­ster, but the crows kept beat­ing her off. Even­tu­ally, I man­aged to keep the crows away long enough for the young­ster to re­cover some of its strength, and for the mother to land, be­fore they both es­caped to a nearby pri­ory.

I re­turned to the area a few days later, and I’m sure I saw the same young kestrel. He or she was rest­ing on one of the posts and looked straight at me, car­ry­ing on preen­ing as if it re­mem­bered me and knew that I meant no harm. Alan Charl­ton, Tyne & Wear

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