Kestrel Cam

I am delighted to have been able to bring you this wonderful live camera on a kestrel nest box in the grounds of Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, in Essex. Now the chicks have fledged, we have moved the camera onto a perch that they regularly use.

Working with Denis Stretton and the Birdsy cameras, we have experimented with a range of set-ups to try to bring some unique live cameras online. The kestrel pair have nested here for numerous years and this is the 1st year a cam has been on this wonderful nest site. Denis has worked incredibly hard to get this camera mounted on a tall pole and is using solar panels to provide power for the router and the cam. 

The grounds at Stow Maries provide perfect, unspoiled habitat for all manner of wildlife, due to the fact that it lay dormant for 100 years after WW1, allowing the wildlife to flourish. I have visited & photographed the amazing wildlife there on a number of occasions. The vast majority of the site is open grassland with woodland and although it has no statutory designation, it is home to many species of fauna and flora including all five species of British owls, a rarity in one location, as well as the 22 red listed birds, which have been sighted. Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome works in partnership with Natural England to improve and manage their ecology. As participants in their Entry and Higher level Stewardship schemes, the site work to carefully manage the site to get the very best habitats for the wildlife there.

Kestrel Timeline

Dove - 06 Mar 2021 at 07.49_00000.jpg

February 2021

Kestrels seen mating nearby 

 March 2021

Regular visits to the box and food deliveries, by the male to the female.

 April 2021

Egg 1 laid: April 1st

Egg 2 laid: April 3rd

Egg 3 laid: April 5th

Egg 4 laid: April 7th

Egg 5 laid: April 9th

Egg 6 laid: April11th

Incubation

The adults will incubate the 6 eggs for 27-29 days, at which point we should see the new chicks start to hatch. 

Hatch

Eggs started to hatch on the 6th May

Fledge

Three chicks successfully fledged.

Kestrel YouTube Playlist 

Kestrel Information

Kestrels tend to breed around April and early May.

The female is the streaky barred, brown individual. She lays the eggs at two-day intervals, and usually starts to incubate as she lays the third egg. Incubation takes 27-29 days, which means the eggs will hatch over a period of a few days.  The chicks require constant brooding for the first 10-14 days, so the female will be seen in the box.

The male has a slate grey head and a chestnut spotted back. He  provides the female and the chicks with food throughout the nesting period. This consists mainly of mice and voles at this site, with the occasional bird and lizard. This pair are sometimes also offered small amounts of supplementary food  by Denis. 

The chicks fledge gradually when they are around four weeks old. They explore increasing distances from the nest, but return to it to roost for another couple of weeks. Adults continue to feed the young for a month after fledging, during which time they will learn to catch their own food.