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Highlights from the Fotherdale Kestrel Nest | 2020
A kestrel who fought off several attacks on her nest in order to bring her young up in my garden has proved inspirational. Not only did her bravery move me to paint her portrait (above), but a film I made of the story is due to be shown on BBC1’s The One Show tonight.
I’ve collated some of the highlights for you here. Read on to see them and click here to read the full story on my Kestrel Nest Camera blog.
Two Vicious Tawny Attacks
It all began when the local tawny owl attacked the kestrel nest. The female kestrel fought off this intruder, but sadly an egg was addled during the scuffle. This owl actually attacked twice and yet the kestrel held out, when many other birds would have abandoned the nest. Here are those dramatic moments again.
The kestrel suffered another egg loss after a jackdaw raids the nest. Watch this to see the male kestrel discover the tragedy.
Five Eggs Hatch
In spite of these brutal attacks, the female kestrel continued to incubate her eggs. The following clip is so heartwarming and was taken after the first chick hatched and shows the male kestrel trying to incubate it. He is a first time dad and is all ‘talons and thumbs’ .
Feeding Time in the Kestrel Nest
The following clip shows all five chicks, safely hatched and being cared for by their mother. This adult female is a strict, but fair, and shares out the food equally.
Brooding the Chicks
This clip is one of my favourites. It shows the female trying to fit all five chicks under her as she broods. Click to watch as she styles it out after actually toppling over!
And here are the chicks, almost ready to fledge. What do you think they are looking at?
Painting Inspired by this Kestrel
Below is the new portrait I painted of ‘Mrs Kes’, this inspirational kestrel.