Kestrel Box 2017 - Live Video from
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

The chicks have fledged, and our 2017 livestream has concluded!

Click here to see highlights from 2017's live Kestrel Cam!

Be sure to return to check out the 2018 American Kestrel Live Webcam! 

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Welcome to our American kestrel webcam comment page!  This is where you have the opportunity to ask questions about what you observed in the nest box.  An educator or a biologist will answer your question.  We will do our best to be prompt in answering questions, but please allow 24 hours for an answer.  Thanks for watching!


Steve Kline

4:51 PM on March 10, 2017
Cool... Can't wait to see who calls it home! What's the knocking noise?

Erin Brown

4:58 PM on March 10, 2017
The nest box is on the side of a horse barn. You could be hearing horses against the stalls or doors being blown open and close due to the wind. Thanks!

Gabriele Drozdowski

7:16 PM on March 25, 2017
I can't wait until the kestrels move in. Thank you for setting up this camera. I love kestrels, but of course I would.I care for two hit by car kestrels in my raptor education program (google eyesinthesky.org).

Jennifer Blew

10:04 AM on April 18, 2017
Are there eggs? If so, when do you think they will hatch?

Erin Brown

12:03 PM on April 18, 2017
There are no eggs yet. Please visit our Facebook page to take part in our contest to guess when the first egg will be laid. You can't beat the prize!

Erin Brown

5:55 PM on April 20, 2017
The first egg has been laid! The female will wait to incubate the eggs until all of them have been laid-typically 3-5 eggs.

20 April 2017

Deb Ringer

7:59 PM on April 20, 2017
Cannot seem to find the link on facebook for contest of when first Kestrel egg will be laid...

Gigi Romano

9:09 AM on April 21, 2017
Since she laid her first egg, the contest is now over and winners have been selected!

Erin Brown

10:22 AM on April 22, 2017
The second egg has been laid! The female has been incubating on and off, probably due to the colder wet weather. The male was in the box at 10:30 am today.

22 April 2017

Erin Brown

9:29 AM on April 24, 2017
The third egg has been laid!

24 April 2017

Erin Brown

1:20 PM on April 26, 2017
Egg number four! We may get one more in about two days.

26 April 2017

Erin Brown

3:07 PM on April 28, 2017
Welcome egg number 5! The female will probably start incubating full time now.

28 April 2017

Erin Brown

4:08 PM on April 30, 2017
Here is some additional information about incubation from our Senior Research Biologist, Dr. Jean-Francois Therrien:

The female usually does most of the incubation, but the male will also contribute time. In some pairs, this can go almost to 60% female/40% male.
They should start incubating full time shortly, but they will share the duty.

Dennis Bleile

6:18 PM on May 7, 2017
I didn't realize Kestrels were blue. When will the eggs start hatching?

Erin Brown

7:24 AM on May 10, 2017
Incubation takes about 30 days, so around May 28 we would expect to see hatching occur.

Erin Brown

9:48 PM on May 26, 2017
The first egg has hatched!

23 May 2017

Erin Brown

9:50 PM on May 26, 2017
And another has hatched!

23 May 2017

Erin Brown

9:50 PM on May 26, 2017
Egg number three has hatched.

24 May 2017

Lucille VanDusen

4:27 PM on May 28, 2017
I see 3 babies!

Greg Schweitzer

10:51 AM on May 31, 2017
Very cool, made my day.

Lucille VanDusen

1:12 PM on May 31, 2017
This is my first year on this site, enjoying it very much. Just a question, though, for the future -- is it possible to mount a pinhole camera from the side? The way it is now really makes it difficult to see anything from above.

Ari Heath

7:55 PM on June 5, 2017
Last time I checked in (before Memorial Day), there were 3 chicks. Now I only see two. Did something happen?

Erin Brown

9:29 AM on June 6, 2017
There are three chicks. The chicks are all huddled together in the same corner. It is also possible that one of the chicks is just out of view of the camera. Last year we had a taller, larger box with a camera mounted higher for a wider view. Unfortunately, this made the box very attractive to starlings. So we went back to a regular size kestrel box. As the chicks grow larger and move around the box, we will be able to see them better.

Erin Brown

9:29 AM on June 6, 2017
The nest box camera was cleaned yesterday (5 June) and the two unhatched eggs were removed.

marjorie gavitt

5:57 PM on June 14, 2017
I see that the "babies" are tagged. How will you track them?

Erin Brown

10:31 AM on June 15, 2017
Yes, we banded the 3 chicks on Saturday morning (10 June). We usually try to band kestrel chicks when they are between 15 and 21 days old because at that time, their legs are big enough for the band, their flight feathers are long enough for us to assess the gender of each individual, yet the birds are still too small to try and jump out of the box when we handle them.

The bands we used are standard aluminum bands provided by the Bird Banding Lab (www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/). Each single band has a unique number and should stay on the bird for the rest of its life. If any of those birds are either recaptured breeding in a nestbox, recaptured during migration or wintering periods, or recovered dead, and that the band number is reported to the Bird Banding Lab, we will be notified of its location and time at which it was encountered. This technique allows us (and researchers around the globe) to assess movement, survival and behavior of individual birds.

Dr. Jean-Francois Therrien

Erin Brown

9:43 AM on June 19, 2017
The first chick left the box on 18 June! Please see video posted on our YouTube Channel. The chick was 24 days old. Common fledging age in kestrels is about 28 days.

From the video, the chick leaving the box doesn't seem to result from a disturbance whatsoever- it simply left by itself.
In all families, some individuals grow quicker than others or are simply more ready-to-go than others. It has been documented, in a single family, some chicks leaving the box at around 28 days while some of the siblings staying in the box up until 35 or more days old (still being fed by the parents).

Stay tuned for more fledging!

Erin Brown

2:21 PM on June 19, 2017
The second chick left the box today! See our YouTube Channel for a video clip. Only one left!

Erin Brown

7:23 AM on June 20, 2017
All three chicks have fledged successfully! We hope you have enjoyed watching the chicks grow and develop in their nest box while being nurtured by their parents. Tune in again next March.

If you would like to make a donation to our kestrel webcam program, please go to the "Give" button on our website and click "Donate Now" and type in "kestrel webcam" in the comments field. Your gift will help us to offer free kestrel programs in classrooms that are using the American Kestrel Webcam Curriculum. Every gift counts!
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