An egg-cellent day watching the kestrels

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There’s plenty of activity at RSPB Frampton Marsh, as Simon Wilson explains in his latest column...

OVER the last few years barn owls have bred in a specially designed barn owl nest box at RSPB Frampton Marsh.

During the winter we installed a camera in the box so visitors could watch the owls’ antics on a screen in the visitor centre.

This year, instead of barn owls, a pair of kestrels chose the box as a safe place to raise their young.

On April 12 the first kestrel egg appeared on the television screen, and by April 25 there were five!

The female kestrel sat on the eggs for a month, only getting off to pop out for a snack. During the female’s absence the male, like any good father, would take his turn in sitting on the eggs, occasionally turning them gently to keep them warm on all sides.

On May 23 the first chick hatched. It was instantly hungry, and its caring parents began to delicately feed it.

By May 25 all five eggs had hatched into healthy, hungry chicks, providing lots of excitement for RSPB staff and visitors alike.

The kestrel family are growing rapidly. Throughout June they will transform from cute little fluffy white chicks, to strong powerful hovering predators.

They will be getting ready to leave the nest by the end of the month, so there is not a great deal of time to see them.

Why not come along to RSPB Frampton Marsh, relax in our lovely visitor centre with a cuppa and watch this soap opera develop as the family grow and eventually leave the nest?