That is the story of Jeff, a younger male kestrel who misplaced his mom when he was simply days previous and is now getting ready for a household of his personal.
Jeff the Kestrel
This explicit kestrel may be very particular to me. He was the youngest of a clutch of six kestrel chicks I rescued final 12 months and I’ve adopted his story carefully.
Mr & Mrs Kes
Jeff’s mother and father, Mr & Mrs Kes had been identified to be a caring couple, however their world fell aside when Mrs Kess abruptly disappeared, presumably on account of sickness. The chicks had been too younger to outlive and I took the weakest three – together with Jeff – into my care.
Single Kestrel Dad
As soon as Jeff and his siblings had been sufficiently old I returned them to the wild nest. Male kestrels aren’t identified to feed or brood their chicks however Mr Kes defied conference and took to the position admirably. Extra on the story right here: https://www.robertefuller.com/diary/kestrel-dad-learns-how-to-dad/
Because the chicks grew, it was straightforward to choose Jeff out. He was at all times up entrance at mealtimes and his cheeky character meant he shortly turned my favorite.
However when, one after the other, Jeff’s siblings discovered to fly and dispersed, Jeff was gradual to observe. He was the final to fledge – watch him get an encouraging ultimate feed from me – after which by no means left the territory.
Jeff’s persevering with presence prompted some confusion and for some time Mr Kes, who was prepared to start courting once more, mistook him for a feminine. Not a lot is understood about inbreeding in kestrels and so I adopted their interplay with curiosity. Neither kestrel tried to mate, however their behaviour was odd..
Male juvenile kestrels don’t get their distinctive gray/blue feathering till they’re virtually a 12 months previous and so it wasn’t till I used to be in a position to get studying of Jeff’s ID tag that I realised he was a male!
On the 4th of Could, Jeff turned one-year previous. That is the age at which kestrels are prepared to start households of their very own.
However while Jeff was sufficiently old to courtroom, he had lots to study and the primary feminine he attracted he chased away!
A New Feminine
It wasn’t too lengthy, nevertheless, earlier than Jeff mastered his approach and I noticed him providing a brand new feminine a mouse as a present. This was signal the connection might work and I named his new mate Jenny.
Kestrel Courtship Bows
For kestrels, male courtship shows contain bowing and Jeff was so enthusiastic he regarded like his head could fall off!