Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eyas Update

So . . . . How are those Kestrel Nest Boxes doing??
Well, look for yourself!!
The picture above was taken from inside the box that overlooks the field right by the side of the house.  We were surprised, Richard and I, to still find one of the parents sitting tight in the box.  This is the male kestrel.  You can tell because he has the grey patches on his wings.  Isn't he such a lovely little falcon!  The picture does not show, but the eggs are still present.  I could only see three, as the others were being covered by the parent.  It is possible they have started to hatch, and that is why he was sitting so tight.  I did not want to give more disturbance than my nest inspection, so we closed everything up and left.  We'll check again in about 10 days or so. 

How about the other box?
Well . . .
The sunlight streaming into the box makes it a little hard to see what is going on, but there are four baby kestrels in there, along with one unhatched egg, and half a mouse.  The size of the mouse will give you some perspective on how SMALL those eyas kestrels are.  The parent birds left just as we arrived, and flew around our heads, although at a very safe distance, all the time we were there. It is possible that last egg is a good one, just has not hatched yet. Again, like the first box, I conducted my inspection quickly, a couple quick pictures, then sealed everything up and got away quickly so the parents could return. We'll check again in 10 days to see their progress.

The box we gave to Dr. Gray, that hosted the starling nest, provided warm, tasty food to the hawks this last week.  Of the 5 in the box, I caught 3, with 2 escaping.  Richard also inspected the nest which was placed on the side of a shed on his friend and co-worker Laurie's farm, over in Wisconsin.  It was empty, other than a small fledgling wasp nest, which was removed.

I couldn't be happier!  Two of the boxes we placed are housing new kestrels.  Hopefully they will return year after year, and more will adopt the boxes that are empty.

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