Thursday, June 15, 2017

New Kestrels

This is the third year we've had kestrels in this box by the house. Before we painted & repaired the place they used to nest in a hole some ancient flicker had made in the clap boards. I put this up and they moved right in.
Kestrels are in decline. They are N.America's smallest & most colorful falcons. They eat small animals. Mice, shrews, voles, etc. The adults feed three to four voles/day to each chick and continue feeding them foe a couple of weeks after they leave the nest.. They have four to five chicks per year,

Click to enlarge for best effect.

 There were four of them

 My old friend Jim Anderson from Bend came by and banded them. Jim was my mentor when I was a teenager and the reason for many of my interests. Ecology, wildlife photography and flying to name a couple.
We got them just as they were ready to leave and missed one as it "flew the coop" that morning. 

I replaced them after banding, but Jim's grandson took them out as my hand was to large to fit through the hole with a bird in it. I have plans to add a door to the side of the box as well as a small "bird cam" I picked up from a guy in Oregon City.
Lots of photo ops the next day when they flew.

I had time to take one shot of the pair. I looked away and one was gone, but this is my favorite shot.

  The other followed.

Daisy thought that was pretty funny. 


  1. How hard are they on the songbirds?

  2. I have bluebirds nesting in a box a couple of hundred feet away. I think the kestrels prefer voles, and voles are easier targets and small enough to carry. The adult birds hang out year round on the phone lines that cross the field below the house. Kestrels can see ultraviolet. They see the trail of urine that rodents leave and follow it to the source. I'll be collecting the remains in the next box for Jim, when I install the camera & then we'll have a better idea.

  3. Good. I hope you let us know. I'd consider building them a box, but I have a lot of songbirds around my house, so I'd like to know more.

  4. Beautiful shots, and the story too. Didn't know you could landlord these guys.