Wednesday, June 19, 2013

American Kestrel Fledglings

A few years ago, I mentored an Eagle Scout candidate in his project of building and erecting 15 nest boxes for American Kestrels at the foothills community north of Boise where I work. Every year since, Kestrels have successfully fledged young in one or more of these boxes. This morning, I found four young kestrels. One, as seen below, was still in the box with its head barely peeking out. Based on the color pattern, it looks like two young females and one male. I don't know the gender of the one in the box.
I was a little concerned about the little guy laying down on the top of the box. I wondered if he was ill or disabled.
Or maybe he was just hanging out...chillin' while his sisters hog the bathroom preening. ;-) Here's another angle...and even a bug captured in the frame.
Ma and Pa Kestrels were nearby hunting and calling killy-killy-killy-killy-killy, while the young kestrels' heads swiveled following every move of their parents.
Dude, your sisters are pretty hot!
Oh good. Little brother is healthy and can stand up on his own.
I don't know about you, but I still have a tender spot in my heart for the 2011 ABA Bird of the Year the American Kestrel. I feel fortunate to enjoy American Kestrels almost daily and can't help but feel for our ABA friends in areas where they seem to be struggling. I'll do my part to help them over-produce here in Idaho with the hope that they'll disperse to suitable habitat across the continent.
I found the feather-wear on the tail feathers interesting. I suppose that's what happens when you're stuffed in a box with four siblings pooping on each other.


  1. What a beautiful photo essay. I'm happy to see the fledgelings doing well. Your photos are wonderful!

  2. Wow! Marvelous photographs of these young kestrels! They really are such handsome birds. I am happy to hear that the kestrels are using the nest boxes. Again, awesome images!