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21 May 2013

Cold spring delays Kestrel nests

Kestrel nest inspection, 20th May 2013 (M.O'Clery).

The cold spring this year has delayed the breeding of most bird species, and this time last year we were seeing Kestrel chicks developing well at nest sites all over Ireland. Although the last post below showed a Kestrel chick which hatched in Connemara some days ago, this has proved the exception. Of 21 Kestrel nests visited by John Lusby over the past few days, only 8 show signs of nesting, and most of those are still on eggs. At many other sites the pair of Kestrels are present but they have not yet laid eggs. The worry is that, with the cold weather set to continue for another week or more, that they may not get to breed at all this year.