Several raptors migrated past Muskegon State Park between 9:00 and 11:00 this morning: 4 Northern Harriers, 44 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 Cooper's, 2 Broad-winged's, 1 Red-tailed and 3 American Kestrels.
Blurry but well-fed Northern Harrier
One of the migrating kestrels was holding lunch in its talons and occasionally taking bites as it flew. Two other kestrels, another redtail and this Merlin did not appear to be migrating.
Long ago at the Hoffmaster Dune Climb Stairway I watched several Sharp-shinned Hawks chasing Blue Jays over the treetops. The jays would fly over the blow-out below the dune, the sharpies would give chase, and the jays would dive into the trees. With the sharpies still flying around the area, the jays would again fly over that blow-out! It sounds crazy, but it looked like an intentional behavior by the jays as if they wanted to be chased.
Today I watched a group of about ten Blue Jays fly out from the treetops north of "Jeff's Dune" despite the fact that this male American Kestrel was circling overhead.
The kestrel dove at them, and the jays dove back to the trees. The kestrel soared up, the jays flew out again, the kestrel dropped toward them, and the jays rushed back to the trees. The jays flew out again, the kestrel chased again, this time getting within a few feet of the last retreating jay before it reached the trees. Why would Blue Jays do this?