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Double-brooding kestrels’ eggs hatch

With all the recent happening with Peregrine Falcons the American Kestrels have been overshadowed.  However, it is time to revisit our prolific pair.  The last time I blogged about them was at the end of May when they were both fledging offspring from their first clutch and starting their second one, at the same time.    The pair’s second clutch of the season ended up totaling five eggs.  Now, about a month later, four of the five eggs have hatched and the pair is busy tending to their second brood.

kestrels 2nd brood
The female American Kestrel with four newly-hatched fluffballs. The first kestrel egg in the clutch hatched Friday, 26 June.
kestrel chicks
The four kestrel chicks and the remaining egg.

So, we now appear poised to witness the third kestrel double-brooding in our nestbox.   As I have mentioned in other posts, American Kestrels do not typically lay a second clutch of eggs or raise a second brood.  According to the Birds of North America (BNA) species account, only 11% of American Kestrels in Florida raised a second brood.   The BNA account also noted a “second brood less likely with increasing latitude.”  Based on this information, one might conclude a double-brooding is a rare event in Nebraska, but we keep producing data in our nest box to the contrary.

In case you are unaware, we provide streaming video from inside our American Kestrel nest box that sits high on the north wall of our headquarters building here in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska.  The streaming video can be accessed HERE.  I have heard the video does not come up for everyone.  If you are having trouble, my advice is to use Firefox as your browser.  If the browser directs you to provide a username and password, delete that box and click on image.  The video player should come up.

Good birding!

Nongame Bird Blog

About Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.

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