The smallest of the Falcons the Kestrel is commonly seen sitting on the wires along the roads around the lake and surrounding fields where it watches for small rodents and other prey. The male of this species is very colorful with a reddish-brown back and tail, blue wings, buffy speckled breast, and a black and white streaked head pattern extending down from a cap with blue forehead. The female is slightly less colorful, lacking the blue wings.
Great horned Owl
The largest of our resident Owls, the Great Horned can be found at Sweet Arrow year round. It nests and breeds at and around the lake. It is a heavily streaked brown owl 18 – 25” in height with large piercing yellow eyes. The feather tufts or “horns” on its head are not actually ears. Its keen ears are hidden under feathers at the edges of its facial disks. Silent in flight with large sharp talons, Great Horned Owls are true birds of prey and natural born killers and have taken out birds as large as Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets here at the lake. A nocturnal bird, It is the quintessential “Hoot” owl heard more often than seen. Its booming Hoo-Hoo Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo can be heard echoing over the lake at night.
A rare migratory sighting of this species occurred at Sweet Arrow lake 11/5/20 Brant has similar body coloring to Canada Goose but is much smaller. More duck-sized. Back dark gray, sides white, black head, neck, and breast with stubby black bill and distinctive white striped band or mark at the neck and raspy voice. Brant is a coastal bird that breeds in Arctic North America and winters along the southern coasts of both eastern and western US.