Monday, December 7, 2015

Falcon At The Temple

I learned that the bird from last week's post is a falcon.  I arrived early this morning to see if I could spot him again.
Mornings are my favorite time of day to see the temple.
My father taught me to identify birds.  These are geese heading south.  Not what I was looking for.
On Tuesday I saw the falcon on the west side, so that's where I started looking today.
In no time at all I saw him!  By the way he soared, I knew this was a falcon.
He landed on Moroni's trumpet so I could get a good look.  Thank goodness for my zoom lens
This is an American Kestrel falcon, the size of a Mourning dove. The coloring indicates he's male. 
If you are wondering why we haven't seen pigeons for a while, he is one of the reasons.
The workmen have dubbed him Moroni the Younger.
Beautiful clouds played havoc with the sun.
I don't mind clouds, but the sun might have warmed things up a bit.
My gloves, of course, were in the car.
I asked again about the statue and was told to study my scriptures.
No man knoweth the day or the hour, they say.
There are still blue dots.
The open house begins next month.
This contractor is probably well aware of that fact.
I peeked in the pavilion.
These handles match the handles on the temple.
I recognized a beehive shape in the handles similar to this arch.
The doorways have beautiful new lighting.  This is the north entrance.
The south entrance is still stunning, and the sun helped when it finally came out.
The windows reflected the morning rays.
The bricks vary a little in color depending on what the sun is doing...
...reminiscent of a cold-blooded creature in that respect.
Besides keeping an eye out for the falcon, I looked for signs of life.
Even cold weather brings beautiful surprises.
More snow is in the forecast.
Actually, a surprise I'm waiting for is the construction fence to disappear.


JayBingham said...

Kestrels are pretty amazing birds, check out this video of a kestrel:
They have the ability to hold their heads stationary while their bodies move all over the place.

Julie Markham said...

Hi Jay, I almost didn't believe this was real. I'm trusting you that it is.

JayBingham said...

Yes, I will admit that it does look very unnatural, but I am pretty sure that it is not photo-shopped. Here is a link to a video of a kestrel in the wild.
You can see some of this capability about a minute into the video when the bird is soaring into a head wind. It is not as dramatic as the video with the falconer holding the bird, but after watching this video I am convinced that it is not a phony capability.
A couple of the sites that I found indicate that Provo is in the year round range of the Kestrel, so there is a good chance that bird will stay around. The sites did not list pigeons as normal prey for this falcon. But, I am sure that pigeons probably would leave the area rather than take the chance that it would not eat them. They also said that the normal habitat for kestrels was on the margins of woods where they have access to open fields. So maybe this kestrel is not your typical kestrel.

Julie Markham said...

I hope we have this very interesting bird in the area for a long time to come. My reading indicates that the kestrel is endangered, so I hope he stays, raises a family, and we have generations of these at the temple.

Brian said...

Another Excellent post, Julie!

David and Mary Lou said...

Hey Julie--I was just down at the temple site and there are two workers grinding away at the stone that will be the base of the new statue. I assume that means the statue is probably on site, measurable, and that the stone needs to be modified slightly to ready it for installation. I think we are close! :)

Julie Markham said...

This is GREAT news!