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The Pensthorpe Kestrel

Really Simple Syndication

2nd July 2010

Annoying siblings

So it's all positivity and progress with our kestrel family as the good weather holds out and the nestlings are all looking healthy. We expect that they'll be fledging in the next few days and one chick in particular has been doing a lot of stretching and preening to the point of seemingly annoying its siblings.

24th June 2010

Survival of the raptors

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Survival of the raptors

Join the kestrel chicks as they show us just how strong their survival instincts are.

17th June 2010

Grieving kestrels

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Grieving kestrels

After days of worrying about the welfare of the female kestrel, we finally find out her unfortunate fate.

Single parent

The male kestrel is still hunting avidly for his chicks. This morning the kestrels had a vole, a juvenile blackbird, and two more voles all before 12.30pm. The story developers were able to have a really close look at the juvenile blackbird. Rest assured, though, we believe that it was not our newly fledged blackbird - the tail was too long!

Ravenous kestrels

The kestrel chicks are looking very healthy. This morning, they have been feeding on a selection of voles and small birds supplied by dad.

16th June 2010

Adorned with adult plumes

The kestrel chicks showing of their adult plumes

This morning, there has been lots of preening and flapping from the kestrel chicks. You can really see their adult plumes beginning to show through their chick fluff.

Mum's the word

The male kestrel is doing a fantastic job hunting for the chicks. So far this morning, we've had a vole, a mouse and another vole. Still no sign of mum. Everyone is getting very, very worried.

15th June 2010

Dad does dinner

The kestrel chicks feeding on voles

The male kestrel is taking his hunter-gatherer role very seriously. However, preparing the meal for the chicks isn't a skill he's as adept at as the female. So the chicks are having to learn to feed themselves.

14th June 2010

Odd one out

The kestrel chicks huddled in the nestbox

The kestrel chicks are all huddled together again. Over the weekend, we noticed that one chick was often left out of the group.

A kestrel feast

On Sunday, the nest box was much busier. Both mum and dad were bringing back feed parcels including voles, a mouse and a juvenile bird.

Can't see the chicks for all the poo

On Saturday, the kestrel chicks subjected us to an explosive display of defecation covering the camera in their excrement. Luckily one of the team was on hand to clean and replace the camera. Who said this job isn't glamorous!

11th June 2010

Group huddle

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Group huddle

Find out what is on the menu for our little kestrel chicks.

Some table manners please!

A adult kestrel feeding the chicks a small bird

The adult kestrel is making a right mess with the latest food offering. The nestbox has taken on a rather macabre feel and now resembles a scene out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (just a few more feathers).

10th June 2010

Feasting kestrels

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Feasting kestrels

It's dinner time again. Let's take a sneaky peek at the menu from this morning: frog, old wing from inside box, worm, vole, worm, vole, worm and mouse. Umm umm!

9th June 2010

Wet weather games

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Wet weather games

Catch up with the kestrel chicks, as their parents struggle to feed them during the wet weather.

On the outside of the circle

The four chicks huddling with the unhatched egg visible

The last unhatched kestrel egg can been seen just outside of the chicks huddle. Yesterday, our story developers saw one of our kestrel chicks produce its first pellet. They were so proud!

8th June 2010

Spying on the neighbours

This afternoon the male kestrel was spotted on the avocet cam scoping the scrape for a tasty snack. Fortunately the reconnaissance mission was to no avail.

Wiggly worms

This morning, the kestrel chicks have had a much smaller lunch selection. The adult kestrels have returned with only four small meals of earthworms.

Chicks behaving badly

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Chicks behaving badly

The kestrels are developing quickly and kicking up a right stink. Look at the state of their nest. Luckily for these little chicks, they don't have a keen sense of smell.

7th June 2010

Feathery lair

The huddling nestlings surrounded by feathers and bones

This morning the female kestrel brought a juvenile blackbird back to the nest. After a good plucking the baby bird was ready to feed to the chicks. Feet and all!

Une d├ęgustation

The adult kestrels were very busy this weekend hunting for their hungry chicks. The menu was brimming with tasty dishes including locally sourced sashimi mouse and carpaccio vole.

4th June 2010

A clutch of kestrels

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A clutch of kestrels

The female kestrel is working extremely hard to feed up her chicks for their first flight.

Opportunistic kestrels

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Opportunistic kestrels

Chris and Kate catch up with the family of kestrels at Pensthorpe.

3rd June 2010

Hatching kestrels

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Hatching kestrels

Watch the webcam footage of the kestrel chicks hatching.

Hunting from home

Kestrel perching on the edge of the nest box

The nest box provides a perfect view point to survey the local area for food.

A friend for dinner

Female kestrel feeding her chicks a dead baby blue tit.

The office held its breath this lunchtime as the female kestrel returned with a food parcel. It was a dead blue tit chick. We really hope our blue tit family are all safe. Whilst we've been enjoying watching the beauty of nature up close on our webcams, it really brings home that it is all about survival for our wildlife.

A vole or two for lunch?

Kestrel chicks with a dead vole

The kestrels have been feeding their chicks small mammals including voles. Earlier, the male kestrel returned from hunting with another vole for his hungry chicks.

2nd June 2010

The kestrel family

The kestrel family

Yesterday we started to get our first pictures from inside the kestrel nest box.

Stalking shadows

The female kestrel is supplying her chicks with an endless supply of voles. The kestrel, a phenomenal hunter, is able to hover whilst stalking its prey, by turning into the wind or using the lift created when the wind hits a ridge.

31st May 2010

None for me makes more for you

The kestrel chicks are in for a treat. Mum has been bringing vole after vole.

A flight of kestrels

One of our eagle-eyed story developer team has spotted activity in the kestrel nest. Four of the kestrel's eggs have hatched just leaving one to go.

30th May 2010

Under mum's watchful eye

The team have been following a family of kestrels here at Pensthorpe. Watch this space to see how we get on.

About

The Pensthorpe Kestrel

In 2010 Springwatch followed a nest of kestrel chicks as they struggled to come to terms with the loss of their mother. Find out how the male kestrel coped against the odds here.

A hovering kestrel (c) Collin Shore Kestrel

Learn more and watch video from BBC archive