Kestrel pair Apollo and Athena face robust challenges as they put together to boost their chicks. Watch them combat off rival jackdaws and keep away from harmful predators like stoats and even a buzzard.
Ash Hole Nest
This nest field was constructed particularly for this kestrel pair. Positioned in a restored woodland behavior, it’s clearly a fascinating spot.
And regardless of staking their declare early, this kestrel should combat to maintain it. Kestrel courtship rituals start with the male, Apollo, securing a web site and ‘presenting’ it to the feminine for her approval.
Apollo vs Jackdaws
However Apollo’s has his job lower out for him. First he faces competitors from a pair of jackdaws. One of the vital clever birds on the planet, these birds are fearsome and toy with the male kestrel, pulling at his feathers.
Apollo vs Tawny Owl
At night time, the onslaught continues. This time a neighbouring tawny owl, named Ozzy by followers of this channel, visits the nest. Tawny owls are a lot bigger, heftier birds and Apollo rapidly concedes.
However Apollo’s persistence pays off and by mid-February he is able to showcase the nest web site to his mate, Athena. Watch him bow courteously as she enters. Her approval is crucial for the following stage of their courtship.
Fortunately she approves and shortly Apollo is showering her in items, proof he can present for her and their future chicks. Their romance blossoms as he delivers a succession of voles, and even a lizard – a uncommon kestrel delicacy and arduous to seek out right here on the Yorkshire Wolds.
Athena demonstrates her approval by digging out a shallow hole within the ground of the nest prepared for her eggs.
Additional Nest Intrusions
However the couple can’t afford to let down their guard. The jackdaws return and this time it’s Athena who leads the defence.
Then a stoat creeps into their nest on the lookout for eggs and issues develop into scary when a buzzard swipes at Apollo, solely narrowly lacking him. Buzzards are a lot bigger birds and the knock may have simply harm the kestrel. Then, to make issues worse a fierce storm hits blowing snow into the nest.
However on April 1st Athena lays her first egg after which lays an extra 5 – producing one roughly each two days.
Kestrels share brooding duties and Apollo is a dutiful accomplice. However the pressure of egg-laying should be attending to Athena as a result of shortly earlier than she is because of lay her fourth egg she returns to seek out Apollo brooding the clutch and shouts at him to maneuver.
However Athena is so busy clacking she doesn’t appear to understand she is obstructing his exit! He appears so confused and tries to climb the partitions simply to get out of her manner.