This summer with the concerns about avian influenza and the price of gasoline, a reduced number of Am. Kestrel nest boxes were checked in northern Emmet Co., and near Cheboygan. Nineteen nest boxes were checked; 10 of the boxes were erected by Little Traverse Conservancy cooperators while 9 were on private property.
Of the 19 nest boxes checked, there were Kestrels nesting in 8 of those (many of these boxes had been active in prior years). Three nests had 4 young, five nests had 5 young for a total of 37 young banded. Am. Kestrel males have bluish wings and females have brownish wings; this is evident even in the nestlings when their wing feathers start to appear. Although there is a 50-50 chance of male to female, one nest had 5 males, while none had all females, one nest had 1 male and 3 females; there were 23 male and 14 female nestlings banded.
Five young in a nest box about 8 days old (too young to band).
Placing a band on the leg of a 12 day old nestling Am. Kestrel. (They are full grown and leave the nest at about 30 days.)
Thanks to Scott and Kelly Davis for helping, and to those people who allowed me to band the Am. Kestrel nestlings in their nest boxes.