American Kestrel Cam Timeline

October 2, 2019

Review the main events, including nesting cycle milestones and other noteworthy incidents, in this historical timeline of the American Kestrel cam.

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Nesting Cycle Dates & Information

YearEgg #Lay DateHatch DateFledge Date
20201April 12
2April 14
3April 16
4April 18
20191April 18May 21June 20
2April 20May 21June 21
3April 22May 22June 22
4April 24May 22June 23
5April 26May 23Deceased
20181May 8Inviable
2May 15June 14July 13
3May 17June 16July 13
4May 19June 16July 14
5May 21June 18July 14

2020 Season Timeline

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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