Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Kestrels

Last night Ian and I visited three Kestrel boxes in which females had been incubating a few weeks ago. Happily, we found ringable chicks in all three and all of a similar size. This was particularly gratifying in light of the poor season being experienced by Tawny and Barn Owls and I had half expected the Kestrels to suffer a similar fate.However, some clues to their survival were scattered around each box in the form of small feathers (see pic below). Prey items identified included Blackbird, Chaffinch and Goldfinch whilst many others remained unidentified. A few small scraps of fur were present, but clearly Kestrels are relying heavily on birds this year rather than small mammals, which we know are in short supply after the hard winter. Some of the chicks felt a little thin, so I hope this diet continues to sustain them...

Pete


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