Monday, June 4, 2012

Five by Five

Or . . . since we are not talking about a radio signal, let's just say Five And Five!!

Nest Box #1 overlooking the field by the house was attended today by the mother kestrel.  The fedelity of these parents to their offspring is laudable.  She huddled with her head in the corner, I guess hoping I wouldn't notice her.  I did reach in and move her just a little, to make sure she was alive, and also to count "bobble heads".  There are five in there.  I thought maybe I would get a bite for my intrusion, but she just froze there hoping I would go away.  I did.
Here is a clearer picture of the nestling pile.
The nestlings in the back pasture, Box #2, were a lot easier to count.  They seem to be just a little older than the ones in Box #1.

The smallest one is there on the far right.  The largest on the left at the top.  They all appear to be getting plenty of food and growing quickly.  Soon we'll have a bunch of new kestrels flitting about the farm.  I hope they will be careful and avoid the Coopers Hawk that passes through the yard from time to time.


  1. Is five typical for a Kestrel brood. Most predatory birds have three at most. I haven't heard of them having more than that.

  2. Five in the nest is rather normal for kestrels. They somewhat breach the gap between the larger raptors and the much smaller insectivorous passerines. Much of their summer-time diet is composed of insects. Because of this, they can afford to have many offspring in the nest. After all, they too are on the menu of Coopers Hawks, and Sharp Shins, and any of the larger raptors, though usually too fast for them. This is why they prefer the open fields, and pretty much stay away from wood lots, except for breeding, which makes these box nests so nice for them. They can see predators coming from a long distance, and avoid them.