Your description is consistent with a pair of Kestrels-- persistent
high-pitched calling, mating very conspicuously in the tops of trees,
brown banding in the female's tail, etc.
If it was kestrels, yes, they do tend to mate in the general area
they're going to nest-- and usually repeatedly over the course of
several days to a week or so. (Kestrels, like all falcons, make one
heck of a racket when mating.)
Kestrels nest in cavities-- holes in old trees, or in decayed building
cornices, etc., preferably a little distance from woods. They don't
actually build nests, though, just lay their eggs in the bottom of the
cavities, so you won't see as much coming and going as you do with other
birds until the young have hatched and need frequent feeding.
On 3/29/2013 7:25 PM, Priscilla Douglas wrote:
> Hello birders,
> I am curious if anyone can speculate on what I saw and heard today: I heard
> a very persistent bird calling that sounded a lot like a kildeer
> ("kee-kee-kee"). I finally located it in the top of a tree here on the
> hill in Burlington, probably several hundred feet away and above me. It
> kept calling and another one further away was also calling. Then the
> second bird flew in and (I think) mated with the first bird, which was
> still sitting on a limb. A better birder than I could probably have
> identified it by its flight - it flew quickly and seemed to have the wing
> shape of a small falcon. Unfortunately, their backs were toward me. After
> the mating, the female preened a bit, and I could see some brown banding in
> the tail, but that is all I saw - she flew away, still calling
> Question: do birds mate near where they nest?
> Priscilla Douglas
> Burlington VT
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