American Kestrel Cam Timeline
July 12, 2020
Review the main events, including nesting cycle milestones and other noteworthy incidents, in this historical timeline of the American Kestrel cam.
Jump To Season Timeline:
Nesting Cycle Dates & Information
|Year||Egg #||Lay Date||Hatch Date||Fledge Date|
|2021||1||April 8||May 12||June 12|
|2||April 10||May 12||June 12|
|3||April 12||May 12||June 12|
|4||April 14||May 12||June 11|
|5||April16||May 14||June 11|
|2019||1||April 18||May 21||June 20|
|2||April 20||May 21||June 21|
|3||April 22||May 22||June 22|
|4||April 24||May 22||June 23|
|5||April 26||May 23||Deceased|
|2||May 15||June 14||July 13|
|3||May 17||June 16||July 13|
|4||May 19||June 16||July 14|
|5||May 21||June 18||July 14|
2021 Season Timeline
June 12, 2021: Final Three American Kestrel Chicks Fledge One After Another
The last three American Kestrel chicks have fledged, and the nest box is empty. After the first two siblings fledged on June 11, the remaining nestlings decided not to waste any time in joining their brother and sister in exploring the surrounding grasslands near Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. The chicks fledged one after another at 5:53 AM, 5:54 AM, and 6:19 AM on June 12. After the last female fledged, the adult male dropped in to do one last sweep of the nest box and confirm the “all clear!”
June 11, 2021: Fledging Continues As Second Kestrel Chick Takes Flight
The second American Kestrel chick has fledged. This female was ready to go, and she let her sibling know to get out of the way. Watch as she clings to the nest box entrance before taking over the perch and making a strong flight towards the exterior camera. Two down, three to go!
June 11, 2021: First American Kestrel Chick Fledges From Nest Box
The first American Kestrel chick has fledged at around 8:15 AM on June 11. Watch the chick (a male) take one last dip into the nest box before climbing up to the entrance and taking wing over the rural grasslands of Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. This flight comes at day 30 of the nestling period, assuming this male fledgling was one of the eldest four chicks to hatch on May 12.
May 14, 2021: Fifth Chick Hatches At American Kestrel Nest, Incubation Ceases
The American Kestrels are five for five. After a pip surfaced on egg #5 on May 13, the fifth and final fluffy-headed American Kestrel hatchling was spotted the next morning (May 14) after the female left her brooding duties to grab some food. The youngest chick will now have to compete with its four larger siblings (all hatched on May 12) for food in order to ensure proper growth and development.
May 12, 2021: Four American Kestrel Chicks Hatch On Same Day
May 12 marked a busy day at the American Kestrel nest as we watched four of the five eggs hatch in a 24 hour period. Watch the female take a brooding break and return to feed her chicks before settling over them.
April 16, 2021: Fifth And Final Egg Laid By Female Kestrel
A fifth egg was laid by the female American Kestrel around noon on April 16, and the female gave us a clear view when leaving the box a couple hours later after hearing her mate calling in the distance. Her clutch is now complete.
April 14, 2021: Female Kestrel Lays Fourth Egg
Watch the female American Kestrel unveil her fourth egg of the 2021 breeding season in this clip from the Wisconsin Kestrel cam. She was seen squatting and labored in the late morning at 10:54 AM, which is likely when the egg was laid.
April 12, 2021: American Kestrel Cam Launches New Season With Three Eggs In The Nest
We are happy to report that the Wisconsin Kestrel cam is once again streaming a breeding pair of North America’s smallest falcons live from the rolling grasslands of Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. The 2020 season ended in heartbreak when the breeding female was presumed to have died during the incubation period. Thankfully this new pair have taken up residence in the nest box hosted on the property of our cam partners at the Raptor Resource Project. The kestrels nesting at this site are not banded, so we can’t be sure if the same male from previous years has taken a new mate, or if this is a brand new pair entirely. One thing that is for sure is that the female kestrel has laid three eggs, one each on April 8, 10, and 12.
2020 Season Timeline
April 28, 2020: Kestrel Nest Fails After Female Disappears
We are sad to reports that, after laying 5 eggs and days of dedicated incubation, the female kestrel left the box sometime during the morning of April 28 and never returned. The male kestrel continued to try and incubate the eggs for a day, but he is unable to care for them alone and appears to have abandoned the nesting attempt. We and our collaborators at the Raptor Resource Project are saddened by the loss but hopeful that kestrels will return to nesting in the box soon. Thank you for watching, and we’ll hopefully see the kestrels back here in 2021!
April 20, 2020: Five Eggs For The American Kestrels
Watch the female lay her fifth egg of the 2020 breeding season at 11:19 AM on the American Kestrel cam. The female has now laid one egg every two days from April 12 to April 20. American Kestrels typically lay 4–5 eggs per breeding attempt, meaning this may mark the end of the egg-laying period for the on-cam pair. The incubation period for American Kestrels lasts about a month (28–32 days), so we should expect the first egg to hatch sometime around May 12.
April 18, 2020: Fourth Egg Laid By Female Kestrel
The American Kestrels’ fourth egg has arrived. Watch the female lay the egg at 10:25 AM on April 18. Time will tell if a fifth egg is on the way in the coming days.
April 16, 2020: Egg #3 Arrives In The Kestrel Nest Box
The female American Kestrel laid the pair’s third egg of 2020 on April 16. Watch her hunker down and lay the egg at 10:10 AM. The female kestrel at this site has laid five eggs in each of the past two breeding seasons, so we expect that this falcon family has the potential to grow larger still.
April 14, 2020: Female Kestrel Lays Second Egg Of 2020 Breeding Season
As the female leaves the nest box, she reveals her second, freshly laid egg of the 2020 American Kestrel cam season on April 14.
April 12, 2020: Wisconsin Kestrels Return, Lay First Egg of 2020
The American Kestrels are back for another breeding season at their nest box in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. Just after dawn on April 12, the female laid her first egg of the 2020 season.
2019 Season Timeline
June 23, 2019: Last Two Kestrel Chicks Fledge, Leave An Empty Nest Box
We’ve got that empty feeling now that the last two American Kestrel chicks have fledged! Watch their first flights from the nest box (the female fledged on June 22, and the male fledged on June 23). Good luck to the chicks as they explore the surrounding grasslands.
June 21, 2019: Second Kestrel Chick Fledges With Purpose
The second kestrel chick fledged from the nest box on the morning of June 21! This female just couldn’t wait to take her first flight. Watch her pester her sister to give up her spot at the nest box entrance before taking wing without hesitation. One female and one male chick remain.
June 20, 2019: First Kestrel Chick Fledges From Nest Box
The first American Kestrel chick has left the nest box! Immediately after one of the adults delivered a meal, one of the males decided that 29–30 days in the nest box was long enough. Watch the event from both cam views in this highlight from this morning on the Wisconsin Kestrel cam.
May 31, 2019: Youngest Kestrel Chick Dies
We’re sad to report that despite the best efforts of the kestrel parents, the youngest chick has died, likely due to being outcompeted for food by its siblings. The youngest kestrel hatched almost 2 days after the next youngest sibling, and never quite caught up. With the additional stress of the black fly outbreak in Wisconsin, it appeared to die sometime during the afternoon on Friday, May 31. It’s not uncommon in American Kestrel nests for the last-hatched chick to fail to thrive, apparently unable to compete for food with larger siblings. The following morning the deceased chick was removed to lower the likelihood of black flies being attracted to the body and the remaining 4 chicks.
May 23, 2019: Egg #5 Hatches On Wisconsin Kestrel Cam
Enjoy these highlights as the fifth and final American Kestrel chick hatches from its egg! Watch the female assist her hatchling out of the egg before she nibbles down some eggshell. Moments later, the fifth chick is already begging for its first meal!
May 21-22, 2019: Four American Kestrel Chicks Hatch
The parents on the Wisconsin Kestrel cam have their talons full now that four of their five eggs have hatched! On day 33 of incubation, the first chick was revealed at around 4:40 PM nest time on May 21 before a second chick hatched later in the evening. On the morning of May 22, the adults welcomed two more hungry hatchlings fresh out of the shell. Thanks to our partners at the Raptor Resource Project for helping to share this look inside the lives of North America’s littlest falcon.
April 26, 2019: Fifth Egg Laid In Kestrel Nest Box
And then there were five! The female uncovers the pair’s fifth egg after she follows the male outside of the nest box. Minutes later the male returns to settle over the clutch. American Kestrels typically lay a maximum of five eggs per breeding attempt.
April 24, 2019: Egg #4 Arrives For Wisconsin Kestrels
The female American Kestrel is laying eggs like clockwork! Every other morning since April 18, she has hunkered down and added an egg to her clutch. Get the first look at egg #4 after she rises off her nest scrape at about 9:39 AM on April 24. American Kestrels typically lay 4–5 eggs per clutch.
April 22, 2019: First Peek at Egg #3 During Prey Delivery
During a late morning prey delivery from the male on April 22, we get our first peek at the American Kestrels’ third egg when the female rises off of her clutch!
April 20, 2019: Wisconsin Kestrels Lay Egg #2
On the morning of April 20, the female kestrel laid her second, reddish-brown egg in the nest box.
April 18, 2019: Wisconsin Kestrel Cam Goes Live As Female Lays An Egg
Watch the female American Kestrel hunker down and lay her first egg of the breeding season at 8:45 A.M. cam time! American Kestrels typically lay 4–5 eggs per clutch, laying one egg every other day.
2018 Season Timeline
Nov. 28, 2018: 2018 American Kestrel Cam Highlights
Watch a breeding pair of American Kestrels raise four chicks in their nest box on a private property near Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. Thanks to our cam partners at the Raptor Resource Project for helping to provide this window inside the lives of North America’s littlest falcon!
July 14, 2018: Last Kestrel Chick Takes Flight From The Nesting Box
Nearly five hours after its sibling fledged, the final American Kestrel chick took wing at 11:44 AM and joined its siblings in the wild world outside of the nesting box! All four chicks have now fledged, and the nesting box is empty. The age of the chicks at fledging ranged from 26–29 days post-hatch. Thanks to our partners at the Raptor Resource Project and to everyone for watching and learning along with us as these tiny falcons grew from fluffballs to fledglings. Good luck out there little ones!
July 14, 2018: Third Kestrel Chick Fledges
One of the American Kestrel chicks fledged first thing this morning! Watch one of the younger male chicks take his first flight at 6:05 AM on July 14. At least one male chick remains in the nest after two chicks likely fledged sometime on July 13.
July 13, 2018: First Two Kestrel Chicks Fledge From The Nest Box
Two kestrel chicks fledged on July 13. Watch this clip to see their last moments in the nest box before taking off. Assuming the eldest chick was one of the birds to fledge, July 13 marked day 29 post-hatch for the chick.
July 10, 2018: Juvenile Plumage Reveals One Female Chick, Three Males
Now that the American Kestrel chicks are well on their way to developing their juvenile feathers, it’s easy to see which is a female and which is a male (American Kestrels are sexually dimorphic in their plumage, even as juveniles). Check out the birds’ wings for a quick clue about who’s who. Males have slate-blue wings with a rusty back; females’ wings are reddish brown overall on their back and wings. From the looks of it, the eldest chick (with the most fully developed plumage) is a female, and the youngest three chicks are males!
June 22, 2018: Female Kestrel Feeds Unhatched Egg To Chicks
There’s nothing to be wasted when you are an American Kestrel. In this clip, the female breaks open the shell of the remaining inviable egg and feeds it to her chicks. Every ounce of energy counts when you are raising young in the wild.
June 21, 2018: American Kestrel Cam Goes Live
Bird Cams has teamed up with the Raptor Resource Project on a new American Kestrel cam live from a gravel-bottomed nest box on private property near Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin! Right now there are four chicks in the nest. They hatched on June 14, 16, 16, and 18, and the remaining egg in the nest is unlikely to hatch at this point.
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