In April 2010, after a very heavy storm, we found two baby kestrels on the ground, wet, cold and alone. They had fallen from their nest high in the gable wall of the house. The parents had left the nest and had taken up residence in a nearby tree, coming to feed the youngsters regularly. All we could do was to put them in the parrots old cage (parrot now has a bigger, newer cage!) and hope for the best.
We had advice from the vet and a very helpful lady who looks after rescue birds. We gave them water and off-cuts of meat from the butcher. To supplement this diet we caught mice and collected dead birds that had been the victims of road accidents, our feathered lodgers devoured everything!
As the days went by they became stronger, the adult feathers began to appear. They both liked playing on the swing in the parrot’s cage, quite a sight to behold!!
Finally, in early July, once the threat of more bad weather had passed, we opened the cage and gave them their freedom. The parents had remained near to the house throughout and flew past daily, hovering above us, to check on their young. Happily they were reunited and now the family has taken to living close by, seeming to be none the worse for their ordeal. A great privilege and a great worry for us to be responsible for successfully bringing up these magnificent birds of prey; luckily, a happy ending!
In 2011 the Kestrels came back. They came to survey; hovering at the height of the end wall and gable to see if and where they could lay their eggs. Two broods, four little savages successfully into the sky and away. Will they come to us again next year? We do hope so.