General Discussion : 2015 Bosch KestrelCams discussion

Good morning everyone!  This topic has been created for you to discuss events you see on the Bosch KestrelCams. Please ask questions, post observations and share knowledge about what our kestrels do during this 2015 nesting season.

If you prefer to see postings displayed with the most recent at the top, go to http://hub.peregrinefund.org/akp-2015-cams-discussion

Comments:

nc's picture

I have a question: How are the kestrel chicks able to last through the night without a feeding? They don't seem to have much in their crops as far as I can tell.

 

Delorahilleary's picture

The remainder of the egg yolk is absorbed into the hatchling's body cavity just prior to hatching, so that for the first few days, young chicks are also getting nutrition from the egg yolk. The parents supplement this with meat during the day, so that the chicks get a nutritious beginning. This also means they are not hungry during the night.

After a few days, the chicks develop enough energy reserves that there is no danger of starving at night. Most baby birds in general are not fed at night time.

nc's picture

Thanks, Delora, for answering my question. I was a bit puzzled about how they make it through the night without a feeding but seem ravenous during the day. Does metabolism also play part? For example, does their metabolism slow down at night? I am also watching two owl cams (barred and barn) and I noticed that the owlets are fed during the day and night. I am guessing this is mainly due to owls being semi-nocturnal whereas other birds (like kestrels) are not. Is this a correct assumption?

 

Delorahilleary's picture

One thing to remember with baby birds - begging does not necessarily mean they are hungry, or their belly is empty. Chicks beg for food on instinct, whether they need it or not - excess food is stored in their crop until they digest it. So really, their metabolism is not so high as that! Their metabolism does not slow or anything during the night, but they do not go hungry. They just act hungry with all that food begging. smiley

nc's picture

Thanks for the explanation! I think the problem is that part of me is viewing them as human infants. Human newborn infants really do need a feeding every few hours, of course, because they don't have crops or eat chunks of meat. Last night, I saw some barn owlets eat an entire plump rabbit. About an hour later, they acted like they were starving. I knew that they couldn't have been, not when I saw one of the small ones swallow half a leg.

I will make sure that I repeat to myself, 'Not human babies, not human babies' while watching the chicks during feedings. wink

madeline's picture

male presents a vole or mouse, and male and female share it, eating together in the box next to hatchlings.

cb0324's picture

Chicks were alone for a while. Now the mom is back. Probably needed to stretch her wings, LOL

Jill from MN's picture

Our kestrel Mom is really superb - she has just fed all of her little ones to their hearts' content.  12:15 - 12:30 Boise time.   I don't think that any of the chicks are going hungry right now.   They are taking in some pretty big morsels, too!

Delorahilleary's picture

Indeed, the chicks are definitely swallowing bigger chunks of rodent compared to yesterday! It's cool to see the day-to-day changes.
 

nc's picture

It's 1:23 PM PDT, the 16th. The video feed lost the sound component. I'm watching the kestrels while listening to the crows outside my window protesting about the bald eagle that keeps flying over their nest. Weird combo, LOL.

Delorahilleary's picture

Oh, it seems the sound did stop! I've notified our techs of the issue. Hopefully we can get that back up soon smiley

Delorahilleary's picture

Sound should be working again!

nc's picture

It's really windy in Boise today!

I captured this video of the female attempting to enter the nest box in all of that wind.

Wind Battle

nc's picture

I captured these two videos this afternoon after watching this particular exchange between the male and female. It was so interesting that I just had to capture it on video. It is very fascinating to see how much humans have in common with the animal kingdom. 

The first video would be a great educational video, in my opinion, for people on how to cooperate. In this video, both ma and pa kestrel want to feed the chicks. There is a brief tug-o-war between them. They can both feed the chicks but have trouble executing it. Pa kestrel could have moved out of the way and allowed ma kestrel to feed the chicks or the kestrel parents could have split the food, with one parent feeding one set of chicks on one side and the other parent feeding the rest of the chicks on the other side. However, they are birds and don't know how to think logically. The funny thing is that humans sometimes act exactly how ma and pa kestrel behaved in this video. This is what I find very fascinating.

Let's Work Together!

The second video is actually an extension of the first. The last bit of food is being fed to the chicks and now ma kestrel wants to brood them but, unsurprisingly, pa kestrel refuses to move over.

Please Move Over, Please

I really heart  watching live bird cams!

Off topic: Has anyone been having trouble displaying all of the recent reports on the cam site? I'm trying to figure out whether the problem is on my end (browser issue). Thanks!

Delorahilleary's picture

Nice video captures! Indeed, we seem to be in for a very stormy week, according to our forecasts.

I am seeing all of the recent reports on my end - sounds like it could be a browser glitch.

nc's picture

Thanks, Delora. I emptied my cache and that worked.

nc's picture

Can anyone identify this pretty bird? It also had an interesting call.

Pretty Bird

 

Delorahilleary's picture

That is a Northern Flicker! Info on them here: http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/northern-flicker
Nice screenshot, that!

madeline's picture

i hope someone replied:  it is a Flicker.   in woodpecker family

 

nc's picture

Thanks, you guys, for identifying the bird for me!

nc's picture

At 3:48 PM PDT, the 17th, I saw one of the kestrel chicks turn around and let loose...right in pa kestrel's facesurprise Poor thing feverishly tried to get it off. Some of it ended up on top of his head. He left shortly after. 

Administrator - The Peregrine Fund's picture

The cameras are going offline for brief maintenance. They should return in 15 minutes or less.

Jill from MN's picture

Those little kestrels are getting awfully big for their parents to keep underneath them all at once now.  I usually see tiny heads peeking out when the female is brooding them, let alone the male.  When their parents are gone they all huddle together for warmth.  How well can the nestlings regulate their body temperature now that it's been a few days?

Delorahilleary's picture

Until their flight feathers grow in, a kestrel nestling will still get cold if left by itself in cold air. However, as they  long as they are piled together, they make for quite a warm little pile! The female at this point is mostly keeping cold wind off of them and supplementing thair body heat as best she can.

Nestlings will also generate more body heat as they become more active and more around more. It's been pretty stormy and cool in Boise lately, but it looks like daytime temps will be in the upper 70s this week.

Since you are a logged-in member, you can check out the Kestrel Nestling Aging guide in our partnership documents (Under Information). From that you can see what a nestling will vaguely look like at certain ages. Right now, our nestlings are about a week old, so in a few days, you will begin to see dark patches on them where flight feather sheaths are developing. These will be mostly visible on their "elbows."

Jill from MN's picture

Hi, Delora - thanks for all the great information and for directing me to the resources on this site.   This morning our feisty little kestrels all seem to be holding their own in the sibling rivalry for sustenance.  I'm glad they all hatched so closely together...

I can see the little primary feathers coming in and it's so exciting.

Delorahilleary's picture

You are quite welcome! I am glad you are enjoying watching the cams laugh

Jill from MN's picture

Kestrel Kid FOOD FIGHT!!!!!    3:22 - ongoing as of 3:27 Boise time.  The male kestrel just left, leaving a large morsel in one of the chicks' mouths.   The little one next to the one with such a big mouthful is having a tug of war with the latter.

Wonder why Dad left so quick before the meal could be managed more effectively.....

Delorahilleary's picture

I grabbed a screenshot! It was too funny laugh

 

nc's picture

I saw this about 25 minutes ago. It seems that pa kestrel usually gives the chicks either very large or tiny pieces of meat. LOL

That's a very big piece!

 

Administrator - The Peregrine Fund's picture

Our server will be upgraded this evening. During that process, the site may be briefly unavailable.

Jill from MN's picture

Methinks the word of the day is 'preen'.   The kestrel chicks are stretching a lot and scratching at themselves, and there's one that occasionally ventures away from the others.  I can see little feathers starting to come in, too.

My budgies' veterinarian once told me that when feathers start growing in there is a literal itch from the feather sheaths being there.

Birds never cease to amaze me....   smiley

Jill from MN's picture

Hi, fellow kestrel lovers!

Is it just me, or is it that '4 out of 5 kestrels are eager to be fed' while one is not?  I've noticed this more than once....

Their feathers are coming in nicely.  One of the livelier ones is a female;  one of her siblings bit at her little tail.

cb0324's picture

Unfortunately, it seems to happen quite often that one of the 5 does not survive, I certainly hope i am wrong here.  A few years ago all five fledged.

 

Administrator - The Peregrine Fund's picture

The KestrelCams are offline for some brief maintenance.

Delorahilleary's picture

KestrelCams will be offline for brief maintenance once more today - time to clean that lens off!

Delorahilleary's picture

The lens is clean and the cams are live once again! It's a bit too early to sex the chicks definitively yet, but they all seem healthy right now.

Jill from MN's picture

Right now these little punkins all look robust, and indeed somewhat elegant.  They will probably 'get it' soon that they soon won't have to climb all over each other to stay warm.....

Jill from MN's picture

About 4:20 Boise time I saw the male kestrel enter the box, closely followed by the female.  Neither had any food for the chicks.  One of them made a distinct chatter noise, then both exited the box.  A mystery....

madeline's picture

4:40 ID time,  they is having a nice meal now...they are growing so fast!

 

Delorahilleary's picture

Indeed, they are really starting to be active and are moving around frequently on their own!

Their tail feathers are beginning to really sprout, so it won't be long before we can all easily tell their sexes.

Jill from MN's picture

So !  Within the last hour and a half - now 5:42 Boise time - our kestrel kids have changed their perspective from one corner of the cage to another.   Could be anything...?

Delorahilleary's picture

I am betting that it's because of that afternoon beam of sunlight. While it was fairly cool today, it's still getting to be quite warm in the afternoon! The kestrel chicks will likely avoid sunlight if it is too warm.

nc's picture

Hello.

I know it's still a little too early to tell right now but based on their tails, it looks like there could be at least two males and two females. I will find out if my guess is correct within a week, I'm sure. wink

Is it me or does it seems like one of the kestrel chicks sleeps more than the others? It misses out on some of the feedings. Has anyone else noticed this? 

 

Jill from MN's picture

Hi, NC -- I have noticed it more than once that the chick furthest back is either a bit passive or holds back from the more aggressive ones.  Yet they all look robust enough, about the same size.  I am hoping that every single bird holds their own.   

The way to test an hypothesis of the same chick always missing out at this stage would probably involve a different drop of soluble non-toxic water color or food coloring on each chick ... but that would not be ethical, would it?  They're not guinea pigs or extremely rare birds....

 

PS:  I love how one of them - possibly a female - wiggles (her?) tail up and down.

 

nc's picture

You're right, Jill. It (looks like a he) definitely seems more passive than the rest. During the recent feedings, I noticed that he tends to stand off to the side, patiently awaiting his turn. I'm thinking, 'No. Just shove them aside. Go on. They'll move.' cheeky

The two female chicks and one of the male chicks (Bossy 1, 2, and 3) are the more aggressive ones. They have no trouble challenging the parents (or each other) during meal times.

Owluver's picture

I wonder how these 5 chicks are going to fit in the box much longer.  Even now wing stretching is restricted. Do Kestrels usually have so many chicks?

Delorahilleary's picture

Hello!

4-5 chicks is indeed a normal number for American Kestrels. It definitely gets crowded in the box, but five chicks have successfully fledged from spaces even smaller! Just wait until they are close to fledging - a lot of general jostling occurs with all those siblings.

nc's picture

I captured this hilarious moment a little while ago. I apologize for the lack of sound; I need a new microphone. Maybe it's a good thing there is no sound; otherwise, you would have heard me laughing in the background.

Soon, it will not be safe for the parents to enter the box with food. They will be forced to make quick drops at the entrance. 

Give it back!

Owluver's picture

Thanks for the video.......I missed the event live.  A mob mentality took over; poor mom/dad trying to feed everybody.   laugh

nc's picture

You're welcome. I love your Snowy Owl avatar!

Add a comment

Log in or register to post comments

Posted in General Discussion by Administrator - The Peregrine Fund 3 years 1 month ago.

 

accipiter