The Bosch KestrelCam captured this battle between a kestrel and a starling early in the spring of 2014. Click here to learn more.
Early this morning, around 7am, the remaining male chick made his first flight! This means that all five KestrelCam chicks are fledged!
The youngsters are still in the area, practicing flight and hunting under the watchful eye of their parents. They may even return to the nestbox for sleeping or resting. Thus, we will leave the Cams up so that you may spot the action!
We can confirm that one of the chicks, a male, fledged successfully! He made the trip out at 6:54am. A Peregrine Fund employee spotted him on top of the pine trees enarby - which means he successfully got off the ground as well!
When will the other four decide to take the leap? We won't know unless we watch!
The KestrelCam chicks are now a month old as of today, and thus they could fledge at any time! Fledging is the word used for when a chick attempts its first flight from the nest. Until fledgling occurs, enjoy your last bit of the KestrelCam!
Once a chick fledges, it is not abandoned! Birds of prey continue to feed and protect their fledglings while they practice hunting and flying. Fledglings leave their parents behind on their own, once they are able to fend for themselves.
Thus, while we won't be able to follow it on livestream, the job of an American Kestrel parent is far from over.
We can now confirm that we have three males, and two female nestlings in the nestbox this year! All five chicks look healthy so far, and they could begin fledging in a week or so!
Before fledging occurs, our scientists, in partnership with scientists from Boise State University, will be banding the nestlings this Thursday, June 4. The Bosch KestrelCam will be turned off until 11 a.m. while the researchers carefully collect the five chicks from the nest box. The chicks will also receive a brief exam to ensure their health and then be swiftly returned to the nest box. The parents typically are agitated by the removal of their chicks for the short time-period, but quickly return to normal routines of providing insects and rodents for the young.
Edit: The banding went successfully, and the cameras are now live once more! The male nestlings weigh about the same as each other, and one female weighs the same as the other female. So, this means that all five nestlings are doing well, and all are healthy!
Sometime over the night, the last egg hatched! The fifth chick was dry by the time it was spotted this morning. This means that all five chicks are a similar age - all hatched within a day of each other!
Yesterday throughout the day, on 5/11/2015, we began to hear soft peeping sounds from within the shells. Late in the evening, "pips," or small holes, appeared in the shells! With those signs, we knew that hatching was imminent.
Indeed, early this morning, we woke up to find THREE newly-hatched nestlings being fed by the kestrel mother! That means only two eggs are left to hatch.
When nestlings are young, they are unable to thermoregulate themselves effectively, so the female or male kestrel will stay with them to brood them with their body heat. However, you will be able to clearly hear when it's feeding time - young kestrels will peep loudly to draw attention to themselves for food!
EDIT 11:30am: A new, wet chick just arrived! That makes four nestlings!
The fifth egg arrived right on queue around 7pm! Now, assuming she does not lay another egg, the female will be spending most of her time incubating the eggs with her body heat. The female of an American Kestrel pair typically does most of the incubation, while the male hunts and feeds his mate. The male will also take turns incubating, so that the female can stretch her wings and keep in top hunting form. Incubation usually lasts about 27-31 days, so the clutch will likely begin hatching around May 15th!
The fourth egg appeared on April 13th, around 7pm. This could mean that she is almost finished laying, if she is not finished already! If she lays another egg, it will likely appear sometime on the 15th.
The third egg was spotted on April 11th, around 8pm! It is normal for American Kestrels to lay 4-5 eggs in a clutch. Occasionally, kestrels may lay less than that, and rarely they can lay six or seven! Such cases have only been documented a few times, however. The previous two clutches of this particular nestbox have been five eggs per year.
The female laid her second egg on April 9th, around 6:35pm! You may notice that she does not yet spend all her time incubating the eggs. Incubation begins in earnest once she is finished laying - until then, the eggs will be fine when left alone for a while.
Hello and welcome to the 2015 Bosch KestrelCams Season! We are excited to bring you another year of an intimate look into an American Kestrel pair’s life while raising young. Like last year, the stream will be in HD. We also have a new addition this year - sound! We replaced the broken microphone and now you should be able to clearly hear the kestrels as they go about their day.
The female laid her first egg on April 7th, around 8pm, and American kestrels typically lay one egg every other day. So, keep a close eye out - you may be the first person to spot the second egg!
For technical help with the KestrelCams or website, please click here.
It looks like the nesting season for American Kestrels in Boise, Idaho may be starting up a bit early this year! We have been seeing both a male and female kestrel digging a small indentation, or a "scrape," since early last week. This could mean that the first egg this year could come any day now! For comparison, the first egg of last year was laid on April 19th.
The camera is still uploading one screenshot every 10 minutes, but we will be going live as soon as that first egg is laid. We hope you are as excited as we are!
As a male kestrel has been spotted using the nest box to sleep in this winter, we decided to make the kestrelcam live again! The camera now takes a picture and uploads it every 10 minutes above. Who knows what you may spot using the nextbox as shelter? So far, we've seen a kestrel male and a Northern Flicker roost consistantly in there.