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Kestrels defy odds – pull off second brood

It has been a while since I blogged about our American Kestrels and their late-season breeding attempt.  It now appears the pair is on the verge of success.  As kestrel-watchers already know, only one of the four eggs in the pair’s second clutch hatched.  The lone chick has grown quickly; the bird’s fluffy white appearance is no more.  The young female resembles an adult American Kestrel and I expect it will leave its nestbox in the next few days.

American Kestrel
The lone female American Kestrel appears poised to fledge and leave her nestbox very soon.

As wrote in an earlier post, 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, 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 second breeding attempt to be quite rare in Nebraska and perhaps that is the case.  However, this is the second time we have observed American Kestrels laying a second clutch of eggs in this nestbox (I believe 2011 was the other year). 

The show is about over, but the KestrelCam can still be viewed HERE.  Click on the still shot and the Live video feed should begin playing.   As I stated in earlier posts, Internet Explorer sometimes does not work.   I suggest using either Firefox or Chrome as your internet browser to view the streaming video.  Furthermore, you may not be able to access the streaming video if there is high traffic.  If you are unable to access the video feed, try again, later.  

Once this young kestrel fledges, that will be it for 2014.   Hopefully we see them again in 2015.

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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