Watching Backyard Birds | February 2018

4 • Watching Backyard Birds 6 • atching Backyard Birds I WINDHOVER Renny Gehman I watch the little falcon land gracefully on top of the play gym. She folds her wings, gives herself a shake, and looks around. It is a good place. From here she can see the sun-filled meadow, and watch the ground under- neath my persimmon tree. In fact, a meadow vole, foraging under that same persimmon for seeds dropped frommy bird feeder, has seen her shadow and run for cover. But this kestrel is used to waiting. Hunting from the top of my gym set is her habit, and many days I stop while writing to watch the progress of her hunt. The view out my study’s two large windows and French doors, over the patio, past the bird garden, and across the pool to the persimmon is unobstructed. Sometimes in late summer, the persim- mon is covered with a flock of cedar waxwings, feasting on the American kestrels will use nest boxes, even those in spacious yards, if the habitat is suitable. 4 My Backyard