Kestrel Banding

As we gear up for another weekend of banding, we thought we would share some of the American Kestrel photos we have taken thus far.

Several of the nest boxes we checked in the last two weekends contained eggs or chicks too young to band. With Kestrels, waiting until at least day 13 after hatching allows feathers to emerge enough from the sheath for us to reliably sex them. It’s easy to sex the nestlings because males have blue-gray wing feathers while females exhibit a rufous color.

American Kestrel clutch sizes generally range from 4-6 eggs which the female Kestrel incubates for about 28 days.

This male nestling is about 18 days old.

At about 20 days old, this male nestling has lost a lot of down and the feathers of his juvenile plumage are quickly emerging!

Sometimes we have to climb ladders.

We are looking forward to checking on a lot more Kestrel nest boxes this weekend and will soon have many more photos to share!

Nick, Ed, and I holding a clutch of 5 nestlings after banding and collecting data on them.