A bird’s-eye view
We're delighted to announce that we are, once again, able to stream fascinating live footage from our kestrel box high above the Tyland Barn nature reserve in Maidstone.
Our kestrels took turns to incubate 6 eggs. All 6 eggs hatched, and the chicks are already growing their proper feathers.
Technical difficulties mean that we have been experiencing a few glitches with our kestrel cam, but thanks to help from UK Power Networks and PG Platforms, we were able to monitor and ring the chicks under licence. This gave us the opportunity to do some maintenance for the camera equipment at the same time. The UK Kestrel population has declined since the late 20th century, and they are ‘Amber-listed’ as a species of conservation concern. The exact reasons for the decline are not known. In order to conserve them we need to understand more about their survival, dispersal and breeding biology.
Data from ringed birds allows scientists to learn how they are faring and inform conservation efforts. Uniquely numbered rings have allowed us to learn that they typically live for around four years, and that the oldest know individual was 15! Most are re-found throughout the UK but birds ringed here have been found as far away as Finland, Sweden and Morocco. Two of our chicks were old enough for us to tell that they are female, and the brood is doing well, with all 6 young healthy and well-fed.
11th June - All 6 chicks ringed
22nd May - All 6 chicks have successfully hatched.
20th May - 5 chicks have hatched.
6th egg laid in the evening of 22nd/23rd April
5th egg laid in the evening of 20th/21st April
4th egg laid in the evening of 18th/19th April
3rd egg laid in the evening of 16th/17th April
2nd egg laid around 14th/15th April (estimated)
1st egg laid around 12th/13th April (estimated)
Due to the camera's remoteness and its reliance on batteries and solar power, it only operates between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.
This is live, unedited footage of kestrels; at times, it is possible that there may be disturbing images of the natural world. These are wild birds; we are not allowed to interfere with their breeding or their nest.