Jul 032012

I put up a nest box in December to attract an American Kestrel.

I actually got one.

This male American Kestrel visited me in December.

The nest box dimensions were provided to me by a kestrel bander from California.

The dimensions for kestrels are:

Floor size 8-inches

Depth of cavity 18-inches

Diameter of entrance hole 2-1/4-inches

Distance from the bottom of the entrance hole to the bottom of the box 12-inches

If you make the roof so there’s a 2-inch overhang in the front and 1-inch overhang on the sides that keeps the nestlings a little dryer and cooler.
Here is a look at the finished product being inspected by a surprise visitor, a Gila Woodpecker.
I took the above picture after I spooked her out of the nest when I went into my tool shed.
I removed my mower and other tools and stored them on the patio so as not to disturb the new family.

Gila Woodpecker eggs in a nest box

I waited for a week after first noticing the woodpeckers before checking inside the nest box.

The eggs are totally spotless.  In hind sight I wish I had removed that wood chip.  11 days later I found these guys…

Gila Woodpecker chicks

My guess is that the kids are about 3 days old in the above shot.  6 days later the kids are getting bigger.

The following shot was taken 5 days later.

So they are about 14 days old.  I felt uncomfortable opening the box and stopped after this shot.  I did not want them fledging too early.

Great Mohawks eh?

It was fun watching the kids growing up and I knew that the final exit would be fleeting.

The kids were very aggressive when eating.  Mom and dad were actually a bit scared when feeding them.

Dad is on the left, mom on the right.