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Kestrel Nest Camera | April 2019 | Watch my Kestrel Pair as they Lay Eggs

Welcome to the latest update from my Kestrel Nest Camera!

 

The kestrels are laying eggs in Sycamore Stump. The eggs have come quite early, last year she laid on April 20th and they are known tend to lay between late April and early May. A typical kestrel clutch can range between three to seven eggs. These are laid at regular intervals of two days. So far this female has been like clockwork, producing two speckled brown eggs exactly two days apart – right down to the hour.

Keep checking in to this blog post for regular updates from my kestrel nest cameras.


April 10th – 15th 2019

Eggs: And then there were Five

Kestrels Lay Egg no. 3, 4 & 5

 

It has been a busy week for the Kestrels. At the start of the week there were just two eggs in the nest. Since then the female has laid two more. She is now sitting on clutch of 5. The eggs have been laid 2 days apart, although sometimes it is tricky to see when the next one is laid as they are brooding the eggs most of the time. It’s only when the lift off to have a stretch that you get a brief glimpse. It is often reported that only the female kestrel broods they eggs, but I haven’t found this to be the case with my pair. The male and female swap incubating duties frequently, allowing their partners to go off to stretch their wings multiple times a day. The kestrels seem very focused when swapping brooding duty. They are very matter of fact and barely give each other a second glance. This is very different from my barn owl nest camera and my tawny owl nest camera – the owls seem much more loved up and are often preening each other and mating.

Although, It is very sweet watching both kestrels shuffling themselves down onto the eggs to brood. The really wriggle about, making sure that their feathers are perfectly fluffed up around the eggs and that they are comfortable. It’s also interesting to spot the male doing regular inspections of the nest and removing any offending debris. I call this ‘gardening’. Kestrels typically lay a clutch of 3-6 eggs, so I’m wondering whether they will go on to lay more, or if that’s it. Watch out for the next update, to see what happens next.

 


April 6th – 8th 2019

Kestrels’ First Eggs

Kestrel Egg Laying

Click above to play video

 

After not being totally sure whether or not the kestrel pair were going to finally take up Sycamore Stump or not, I am so excited to report that the first two eggs have now been laid on camera! Watch the video of the female as she lays her first two eggs. It is fascinating to see how she pushes each egg out, flicking her tail up and down and pumping her wings for assistance! Kestrels usually lay an egg every two days. A typical clutch is between 3-7 reddish brown speckled eggs, So it will be interesting to see how many she goes on to lay this year.

It was sweet to watch how the male rushed into the nest to see the eggs, before sitting down on them as if practicing incubating. It is largely reported that it is only the female that incubates the eggs, but last year I found that although the female incubates for most of the time, the male does come in and incubate for up to 3 hours a day, seemingly to give the female a chance to stretch her wings, hunt and take a break. So I will look forward to see if this happens again this year. Also, it is suggested that unlike the barn owl and tawny owl, kestrels don’t start to incubate the eggs until at least three are laid. So I’ll be interested to see if this is also true.

 


 

Kestrel Artwork

My Kestrel Paintings

Inspired By Watching These Kestrels

My webcams help me to research these birds for my paintings. Here are a few of the paintings inspired by watching and learning about his bird pair up close.

kestrel painting
Kestrel Portrait, Original Painting
kestrel painting studies inside a nest cam
Kestrel Sketch, by Robert E Fuller

 

Kestrel | Art Print | Shop Now

Kestrels In My Garden

The History of Mr & Mrs Kes

Stories from a live kestrel nest camera

If you’re new to their story, the male kestrel, Kes, has lived in my garden for 12 years. He has a colourful history: a few years ago I discovered on the cameras that he had two females on the go at once and even raised two sets of chicks. Last year he successfully raised two chicks with a new mate, after his long-term partner, Mrs Kes, died two years ago.


Click here to read the story of Mr Kes’s infidelity.

Click here to read their story during 2018’s breeding season.


Read More

Kestrel Nest Camera: The Back Story

Click here to read my Jan & Feb 2019 Update -Pairing Up 

Cick to read how I set up the cameras to watch this kestrel family

Click here to read the full story of my kestrels and find out how I discovered Mr Kes had a mistress and a second family.

Follow my other nest cameras:

Barn Owl Nest Camera 2019 | Tawny Owl Nest Camera 2019 | Peregrine Nest Camera

Read more about my adventures with kestrels here:

Click here to read about the time I watched Kestrels clash with Short Eared owls


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