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Breeding Kestrels

Saturday, May 9th 2020

Kestrels also use the large nest boxes put out by the Foxglove team. They breed a little later than the owls and usually it is the adult female who found is inside the box incubating the eggs.

The male provides the female and the chicks with food throughout the nesting period. The female will only hunt if food is short, risking the loss of eggs or young chicks.
Therefore, it is unusual to discover a male bird on the nest. However, this has been known on occasions and this photograph shows a beautiful adult male. Males are smaller than the females and have a slate grey head while females are all brown.

The bulk of their diet is made up of small rodents but they will also take a wide variety of other prey, including lizards, earthworms, large insects and even bats. Vole numbers affect kestrel numbers: in good vole years more young kestrels are fledged. There have been a lot of small mammal sightings by people out walking this year so hopefully, the Kestrels will do well during this breeding season. 

The timing of egg laying is dependent on the weather, but the female normally lays her clutch of 3-6 eggs in late April or early May. The eggs are a deep brown colour and look a bit like chocolate ones!


(1) Comments:

Tim Randall responded on 11th May 2020 with...

How lovely to to see these beautiful birds in such detail.


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The Friends of Foxglove Covert is for those individuals, families and organisations who would like to support the reserve through an annual membership subscription. Friends receive a regular newsletter and invitations to attend our various activities and social events.

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Minibeast Safari 1

Wednesday 5th August 2020 | 45 minute sessions on the hour

Come along and find out which minibeasts are living in some of the habitats at Foxglove. Book a minibeast session for your family bubble of up to six people. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the equipment will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



Minibeast Safari 2

Wednesday 12th August 2020 | Various time slots available

Come along and find out which minibeasts are living in some of the habitats at Foxglove. Book a minibeast session for your family bubble of up to six people. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the equipment will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



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The Dragonflies of Strensall and Foxglove Covert
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This book has been published with the aim of enabling people visiting these, immensely important Flagship Pond Sites in North Yorkshire, to identify the dragonflies and damselflies they encounter - by reference to a simple text and photographs. Credits - Yorkshire Dragonfly Group & Freshwater Habitats Trust

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