American Kestrel guarding the nest!

May 18, 2012 in Nearby Landbirds

As the male guards the area outside the nest cavity, the female does most of the incubation.  However males have been known to occasionally sit on the eggs during incubation. Both sexes have brooding patches. Incubation lasts 29 – 30 days and hatched chicks are non-competitive. Once chicks have hatched, females beg food from males. The female, in turn, feeds the young for the first 20 days. After that period, chicks beg for food from males and feed themselves. After 30 days, chicks leave the nest. The family remains as a unit for some time. The survival rate of chicks is about 50% under natural conditions, but it is usually higher under better conditions (e.g., human-provided nesting boxes).