An American Kestrel has returned to the valley.
It is searching for a suitable nesting site to show to his mate upon her arrival. And it looks like it has found one - in an old snag of what used to be a mighty poplar tree.
The kestrel perches victoriously on the top of of the dead wood; the several cavities in the trunk are more than perfect for a startup of a new family.
And what a better way to celebrate than having a glorious meal!
The snag is on an abandoned rural property, a couple of old barns and a pile of junk in its vicinity.
It seems that meadow voles and mice have found it attractive too.
One elegant swoop and the world is one unfortunate vole poorer.
The kestrel takes its prey back to the top of the snag. It is just about to start its celebratory dinner when something happens one floor below.
A couple of resident Northern Flickers has already chosen the well rotted stump for their nesting site! And they do not like disturbances!
Kestrel is not taking notice, its entire focus is on the vole!
Another mistake of the day!
For Mamma Flicker charges out of the cavity (leaving the male to admire her feathers and to cheer on).
She flies up like a rocket - and still - the kestrel does not seem to notice.
But that will change soon!
Peace disturbed, feathers flying!
Are you paying attention NOW?
Yes! That is YOUR feather!
So take it AND your dinner somewhere else and thank-you-you-are-not-welcome!
Just in case that the kestrel missed the point she charges again - kamikaze style.
This time, her aggression is not needed.
Point well taken, poor kestrel carries its dinner elsewhere.
Kamikaze mamma settles down, her man nowhere to be seen.
Probably inside, all impressed, building a spacious nursery room.