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American Kestrels Start 2024 Breeding Season With Eggs!

Watch the female American Kestrel take an incubation break and reveal two eggs.

Get ready to follow North America’s littlest falcons as they journey through the breeding season in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin! The American Kestrel Cam is back on Bird Cams after taking a hiatus in 2023, and the female has already laid two eggs (one on April 14 and another on April 16). The typical clutch size for American Kestrels ranges between 4 and 5 eggs—with one egg laid every other day—so we should expect to see more eggs arriving soon. Watch for them live.

New Year, New Box: You may notice a change of scenery on the cam this season. Our partners at the Raptor Resource Project have been busy this offseason preparing a new dwelling for the kestrels. The new nest box was constructed out of a downed tree and has been lined with organic material to mimic a natural cavity. It took a few weeks for a pair of kestrels to begin investigating the new structure, and they seem to approve of their new home!

Parental Duties: Like many birds, American Kestrel pairs have defined roles during the breeding season. Once egg laying has ceased, the female will attend to most of incubation duties. The male may also incubate from time to time, but he’ll mostly be busy hunting for food to drop off to his mate.

If you’re ever curious about which bird you’re watching, it’s easy to identify who’s who by looking at the color of the adults’ wings. The male has a slate-blue coloration on his wings, whereas the female’s wings and back are uniformly barred in rusty brown and black. See the All About Birds species guide for more American Kestrel ID tips.

Don’t forget! You can follow daily updates from the cam on Twitter/X @WI_KestrelCam.

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Pileated Woodpecker by Lin McGrew / Macaulay Library