A virtual window into our balcony…
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The kestrel female and her male decided to spend the winter with us. She lives here since the end of July 2018, he since November 2019. Our balcony belongs mainly to them. They regularly spend their nights here. They can be seen also quite often during the day. We observed courtship behaviour since late January. He began to bring her gifts (the first vole recorded on January 28). A month later, on February 28, they began mating.
The female laid her first egg of the 2021 season just before noon on April 27. The second egg appeared on April 29, third on May 1st, fourth on May 3, fifth egg was laid during the night or early morning on May 6. The female started the incubation probably after laying the 4th egg. (The incubation period lasts about a month (+-28 days). The eggs hatched at the end of May – the first on the evening of May 29, the second on May 30 in the afternoon, third and fourth on May 31.
The chicks are 143 days – 145 days old.
They were ringed on June 17.
The first one left the balcony unintentionally after an unsuccessful attempt to land on a shelf with a camera above the old nest on June 29. The second fledged on June 30, third on July 2, fourth on July 3.
The male and female continued to feed the young after fledging for the most part in July. The chicks returned during the day to the balcony, which served them as a buffet or shelter, and as a dormitory at night. The last one stopped to spend regularly his nights here on September 30.
When the kestrels are not present, you can see also other birds: tits, nuthatches (regular winter visitors in small mixed troops), sparrows… and also pigeons, whose presence is a permanent source of conflicts with kestrels.
The swift nestboxes next to the kestrel’s balcony are empty again now. The little swifts fledged at about the same time as the kestrel chicks disappeared .