The American Kestrels are also diligently incubating their clutch and it has been challenging stealing a peek. Today, the nestbox was unoccupied for a few moments and it revealed the kestrels have six eggs! American Kestrels typically lay 4-5 eggs, but there is at least on record of a seven egg clutch. The male (the bird in the photo, below) was also incubating for a short time. It is typical for the bull male to not spend much time in the nestbox. Female American Kestrels incubate more than 85% of the time based on the few studies conducted.
Our kestrels are not banded, so we don’t know if this is the same pair as previous years. Two years ago our kestrel pair raised two broods, something else that is very unusual for this species. Based on this reproductive vigor and output from two different seasons, my guess is that it is the same pair the last couple years or so (pure conjecture, however).
Click on either photo to be taken directly to the American Kestrel page that has streaming video.
The URL is http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/wildlife/webcam/kestrel/index.asp