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American Kestrels Fledging

On a positive note, the American Kestrel chicks have started to fledge and leave the confines of their nestbox.   It is now 8:35 a.m. Friday morning and just in the last ten to fifteen minutes two more birds have taken the leap.  Only two of the five chicks remain.  There were four female and one male kestrel offspring and two females will be the last to leave.  The nestbox is located on the north side of the NGPC headquarters building in Lincoln.

Kestrel fledge

The view of the American Kestrel nestbox a little after 8:00 this morning when there were four young birds still inside the nestbox.

Kestrel fledging

The view of the nestbox about fifteen minutes later with only two remaining American Kestrels. Their time has come to go out and face the world.

You can watch the final act of the nestbox drama by going here.  Remember, some versions of Internet Explorer do not work well with this video platform, so try Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox if you are having trouble.  Also, we have limited bandwidth so during certain high traffic periods you may not be able to log on (sorry!).

Nongame Bird Blog

About Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.


  1. Joel
    A kestrel egg has hatched! ! Nobody is on the nest right now but it is sure wiggling

  2. There are still just 4 eggs. That must be all there is going to be. The kestrels are laying on the eggs more consistently now. The male is there several times a day

  3. Joel
    Do the fledglings ever set on the eggs of the next hatch? I was watching this afternoon, the adult female was on the eggs and one of the female fledglings came in the nest. The adult left and the fledgling spent reveal minutes trying to set on the eggs, it looked like. Never did get it figured out so she left. In just 2 or 3 minutes the adult female was back

  4. There are now 4 eggs! I went to the nest and the male was on the eggs. The female flew in the door and when the male left, I saw the 4 eggs. Amazing. They are taking turns on the nest now.

  5. WOW I just watched quite the drama. I went to the kestrel box about 8:15. When I got there Mama was on the eggs but there was a female fledgling in the corner. She made an advance to the eggs and Mama pecked at her. This went on several times, at one point the fledgling hopped up in the door and then changed her mind and came back down. Mama got rather aggressive, her tail feathers came straight up and her body puffed out to about twice her size. Every time the young one would come close the Mama would take after her. Finally the young one finally hopped up to the door and flew away. This whole thing took about 15 minutes. Quite exciting.

  6. Joel
    Have you noticed. There are now 3 eggs!!!

    • I just went back and checked again. It is the male setting on the eggs now. That is the first time I have seen him this go-round. Must be real if he is showing up

  7. Joel
    When do you start counting the days for incubation? When the first egg is laid or when the female start setting on the nest most of the time. I noticed she absent some of the time and I have not seen the male at all. So I assume she is not done laying eggs.

  8. Joel
    I was at the kestrel site yesterday at 12:30 and again about 2:30. At 12:30 there was an adult kestrel in the nest and it looked like an egg too. I went bcd at 2:30 and the adult was gone and there definitely an egg in the nest. Today when I went to the nest there was the female again and she was acting very much like she was ready to lay another egg. I watched her for quite a while and she can’t seem to settle.

  9. It has been good watching the kestrels, how late into the year do they breed?

  10. I noticed one of the kestrel parents comes back to the nesting box, will they lay a second clutch?

    • Hazel:

      They did one other year so it is possible. However, I would expect that they still have their talons full tending to their first brood.


  11. Joel Jorgensen


    We did not band the kestrels this year.


  12. Joel
    Do the kestrels get banded and have they been done. I remember last year when one female took forever to get the courage to take that first leap. No problem like that this year. Thanks

  13. Hi Joel, My family and I in England have been watching everyday since the mother first came to the nest on a random spycam app! We had no idea there was this website or they were part of a park. We had no idea where they were til yesterday! Today my mum is heartbroken to see they’ve all gone but happy they’ve all made it! Absolutely loved it. Thank you. Sarah (and Valerie) Cain.

  14. Just looked at kestrel cam, all chicks gone, will miss seeing them. Thanks again for all the coverage and information.

  15. Been watching the kestrel babies, will the parents feed them out of the nest? Will miss seeing them, thank you for the live feed nd the information on them. Hazel

    • Joel Jorgensen


      Yes, the adult kestrels will continue to bring food to the youngsters for a while. Over a period of weeks the young kestrels will become increasingly independent and will eventually go their own way.


  16. Awesome! Glad to hear they are doing well.

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