Hello, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to register our observations about our dear neighbors Zack and Anima.
I would like to give a brief summary of what I am witnessing.
About 3 years ago I started noticing the appearance of several wild birds where I live.
I attribute this appearance to the massive destruction that has been taking place in the Brazilian Cerrado and Pantanal, with immense fires and illegal appropriation of protected lands.
I live in the city of Santos, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The city of Santos is extremely dense, vertical and still has the largest sea port in Latin America. Unfortunately, because of this, the city has high levels of pollution (air, noise and water).
Despite this, in 2020 I began to observe the presence of a very interested Kestrel couple on the balcony of our apartment, as if looking for a safe place to stay.
Later, I realized that they had nested in an extremely precarious spot on the facade of a neighboring building. Place of difficult entry and exit for birds and that could be accessed from the inside by poorly trained and/or ill-intentioned people.
That year (2020), I monitored the couple's activity from afar and started to study their behavior hoping that no malicious interference would happen. I could conclude that they had only one female nestling.
In 2021, with more experience and researching on this site, I built a nest box following the specifications and installed it on my balcony, along with a monitoring camera.
The couple, especially the female, was not very interested, despite frequenting all around the nest box.
In that year 2021 I could not identify the occurrence of nestling.
This year (2022) I had a surprise.
The male showed great interest by entering the nest box calling the female to occupy it. The female started to spend long hours on our balcony, sleeping, stretching and eating the food that the male started to bring.
They began to live a few meters away.
To my surprise, she proceeded to enter the nest box and spend some time inside, intensifying their activity on our balcony.
She went to sleep in the nest.
Now, on the 17th of September, I have identified a posted egg.
I registered the nest box on this site and I am collecting data to make it available to the community. I have several records of them, as they are very close.
I look forward to being able to collaborate and open to suggestions for reproduction, even in such an inhospitable place, with so many adversities, be productive for this beautiful species.
Marcelo, Santos, Sao Paulo - Brazil.
Absolutly amazing !!!
As we always said,
"if the Kestrels want your nest box they will move in and nothing bothers them"
So all you people that are city dwellers, IT IS POSSIBLE !!!
To see our many years of study click on link to KESTREL KORNER http://www.nu-sun.com/html/kestrel_korner.html
Nu-Sun Cinema American Kestrel Research Center
Winnieg, Manitoba, Canada.
Thank you for your attention and congratulations for working with the beautiful and dear Kestrel.
Thank you so much for sharing this story and these wonderful photos!! We're thrilled to hear of this success story from such an unlikely location. City-dwelling kestrels certainly aren't the norm, though they're not unheard of, either—at least one pair nested in downtown Chicago last year, so we hope your new neighbors have similar success and we'll be hearing about nestlings and then fledglings soon! And we're especially grateful that you're submitting your observations to our database—yours is the first data we've received from Brazil in a number of years.
Would you mind if we shared these photos and your story on our social media pages? We have to imagine our followers and kestrel fans would be just as excited by this story as we are.
Thank you very much for considering my observations.I tried to contact the responsible authorities in my country, but they showed no interest in the Kestrel study. I also tried with the city's university biology laboratory but they are specialists in marine biology. So, it was with great joy that I found your site.Answering your question, it would be an honor to be able to tell and share my photos on your social media. I only ask that you inform me in which media they will be published. Marcelo - Santos - SP - Brazil.
Obrigado Marcelo! At present we're planning to post one of your photos along with a short version of your box's story to our Facebook page later this month, as well as include it in the newsletter for our parent organization The Peregrine Fund. We would love to share additional photos on our Facebook page as well as The Peregrine Fund's Facebook page and Instagram feed in the future. You will be credited everywhere the story and/or photos are posted.
We may also decide to feature your story in a future AKP newsletter, but we will reach out separately if we decide to move ahead with this. If we want to use your photos anywhere else we'll let you know.
Based on your observations so far, looks like another 2–3 weeks for nestlings? We can't wait :)
Hello Matheus! Whereas the first egg was identified on the 17th of September (the other 2 on the 29th); The male spent the day in the nest box (assumed the role of hatching the eggs, protecting the nest box and the territory, defending the female and looking for food); Whereas a female has long been on our balcony, so much so that she even needs to see the attached photos;Also considering that now, during the night, Kestrels don't stay in the nest box. I have no idea when the nestling will show up. I am following closely and hope to witness their birth. It's not uncommon to hear them vocalizing here, listening to them next to me (it's really nice to hear from you so closely) and I hope everything works out. There are no predators here, but because it is an urban environment, there are many traps. I heard about a Kestrel couple who got stuck in a mall. They were rescued. These birds arrived at a very important time and brought me a lot of joy and beauty. I hope to be able to help with whatever it takes. Note: Although hawks do not currently spend the night in the nest box, the female spent 13 nights in the nest box and the male spent 1 night. Marcelo - Santos - SP - Brazil.
Olá Marcelo -
Thank you for the update and the new photos! Looking at the dates you've reported so far, we would expect the eggs to start hatching soon, either sometime this week or early next week. If you start noticing the adults making more frequent trips to-and-from the box with food, that's a great sign that hatching has begun!
We included your story in The Peregrine Fund's most recent newsletter and both the AKP and The Peregrine Fund's social media, so your nest now has quite a few fans around the world. We're all excited to see how this pair does :)
Hello Matthew!I'm still waiting for the eggs to hatch.The male is brooding, but he spends a few hours a day in the nest. I made a more accurate report in the observations.I'm in a very atypical spring, with low temperatures for this time of year, icy winds, lots of cloudiness and rain. I hope these changes in the weather don't affect the hatching.Attached updated photos of the nest.Marcelo - Santos - Brazil
Thanks for the update and the photos! It's concerning to hear that the eggs haven't hatched yet, as kestrel eggs usually hatch around a month after the adults begin incubating. Hearing that the weather has been unseasonably cold adds more worry. But we've been surprised by late-hatching nests before, so hopefully these youngsters just wanted to wait a little longer before taking on the world.
Unfortunately Kestrel's couple abandoned the nest box leaving the 3 eggs.
I have submitted a more detailed report in the appropriate field.
I wonder if it is possible, as a last resort, to take the eggs to an incubator, although I think that time may have already invalidated the eggs. Is it worth the try?
Hi Marcel -
We're disappointed to hear the nest was unsuccessful, though we're not surprised to hear this was the outcome. Kestrel eggs typically hatch around one month after the start of incubation, which meant the eggs in your nest should have hatched by the first few days of November at the absolute latest. At the time of your last post on 7 November, hatching was already overdue and the eggs likely already infertile at this time. Adult kestrels will often continue to incubate eggs for as much as two months past their expected hatch date.
Eggs can fail to hatch for a variety of reasons, but given that you'd described the weather as unseasonably cold and rainy, it's quite possible this could have been a factor. Attempting to artificially incubate the eggs even back at the time of your prior post in November would therefore have been unsuccessful, and would certainly be so now.
The contents of the box can be cleaned out and bedding replaced. (A note that we recommend using hardwood shavings such as aspen for bedding rather than straw, as straw comes with a higher risk for disease.) It's possible, though unlikely, that another kestrel pair could attempt to nest in the box again this year; otherwise, you'll be all set for next season, when hopefully you'll get another nest that meets with more success!
While the result is certainly not what we'd hoped for, we very much appreciate your thorough monitoring of this nest. Documentation of nest failures is critical in determining if and how such events are affecting overall population trends, and your contributions from this year are a valuable addition to our database. We look forward to seeing more observations and stories from your box here in 2022.
Sending all our best, and all our gratitude, from AKP headquarters in Boise.
Thank you very much for your attention and help in the effort to help our kestrel couple Anima and Zack.
In these photos you can have an external notion of where the nest box is (photo 1 and 2)
I was sad to have seen up close all the effort they made to generate nestling without, however, reaching the goal.
I cleaned the nest box (I think it's the only one on the planet that is cleaned with a vacuum cleaner).
I gave an honorable destination to the eggs (photo 3).
I am preparing myself for the next season with the hope that this time I will be able to see the nestling being born to life.
And speaking of life, I found that a female from the Columbidae family nested in the garden of my building and gave birth to two nestling (photo 4) and I am already having other visits this summer (photo 5)... The life always looks for its space to give the future a chance.
Once again Matthew, thank you so much for your help. I was very happy to be part of this AKP group and to see that my photos helped to promote the species. I wish everyone at the American Kestrel Partnership a happy 2023. May this season be very productive and we can dream of a peaceful future.
Marcelo Ghibu – Santos – São Paulo – Brazil.
Choosing a nest media is very important. You will want to make sure it is dustless and sterilized. Heavy concentrations of dust may block the nestlings nostrils at a very young age.
Below is a photo of the media we have been using for over 10 years. ( don't know if you have this brand in your location )
Have a good day,
Nu-Sun Cinema American Kestrel Research Center
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Hello !Thank you for the tip. Here I found the following product (pictured below) and have already stocked up to prepare for the next season. I was saddened by the failure of the reproduction, but conditions in an urban environment for a bird with such special characteristics as the Kestrel are very difficult... I am studying to try to provide the most favorable conditions for the next season.And speaking of the season, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very productive and happy spring.Marcelo Ghibu - Santos - São Paulo - Brazil.