Kestrel Nesting-Diary 2023


January 30th (Outside temperature 3°C, sunny)

Shortly after the cleaning work in the niche at the end of January, a tercel was on site today at about 10 am for inspection. It was very noticeable that neither jackdaws, nor pigeons had claimed the niche during the winter, if, there were only very short visits.

Last year's young falcons, on the other hand, were still present on the church roof for a very long time and were enjoying themselves. It is really very interesting that in every breeding season different behaviors can be observed. It seems that every year the parents lead them to other territories, in 2022 it was once again the vineyards in Ellmendingen.


February 23rd (Outside temperature 9°C, overcast)

Today Mrs. Kestrel in the lunch time sat longer at the Entrance of the niche. Except for a wood pigeon there was no other visit in the last time on site.

March 21st (Outside temperature 14°C, overcast)

Surprisingly early in the year the niche is now already alternately guarded by Mrs. Kestrel and the Tercel, mostly around noon, today also already in the early evening hours. Also the tree top opposite serves again as a suitable lookout.

April 8th (Outside temperature 12°C, overcast)

After a few drops in temperature, some with frosty nights, the first two eggs have already been laid, amazingly early this year. As reported in March, the two hawks were very often on site, usually seen together in one of the trees opposite or in the niche. The usual skirmishes with the jackdaws also occurred again. Also the tercile is currently warming the eggs alternately with his partner.


April 12th (Outside temperature 10°C, sun, rain, clouds)

This afternoon we could observe a rather unusual scene in the niche: The pair of hawks took a break together, the tercel warmed the (4) eggs and Mrs. Falcon meanwhile sat at the exit and watched the churchyard. It can be observed more often this year anyway that both hawks sit together on the tree opposite, maybe it is a different couple.

Family of kestrel during 'change of guard procedure'

Today there are even 6 eggs

April 24th (Outside temperature 10°C, sun, rain, wind)

Mrs. Falke sits on her eggs and the Terzel supports her. They have got new neighbors and are probably not very pleased about it, a pair of storks has moved into the nesting aid next door. Of course, this is not a problem for now until the day when the young falcons will fly out. In recent years, the stork nest has always been the center of flight exercises.

These 'neighbours' do disturb the kestrel

May 11th (Outside temperature 12°C, cloudy)

Karin B. was apparently the first to notice and inform us: This morning the first hawk chicks had hatched, an eggshell next to it had indicated. Unfortunately, the exact number is still unknown, because the mother hawk warms and takes the chicks und her wings now of course extensively. Let's hope that it will slowly stop raining, otherwise it will be difficult for the tercet to find enough food for mother and children. 6 eggs had been laid, a demanding task for him.

May 15th (Outside temperature 12°C, sunny, cloudy)

2 days ago there was another straggler, so now there are 6 falcon babies, which we will observe in the next weeks, probably until mid-June. Until now according to our records an absolute exception and a challenge for the falcon parents, in the early days especially for the tercile. We can only hope that there will be enough food for all of them. We do not like to remember the year 2018, where there were also 6 eggs and unfortunately only 3 of 6 young had survived. At that time there was also extremely much rain in the early summer and the tercel could not bring enough food. Without the help of Mr. Boll from Pforzheim, the remaining 3 would not have survived.

May 19th (Outside temperature 15°C, cloudy)

We are a bit worried about Junior, he is very much at a disadvantage when it comes to feeding and is sometimes really overrun. The mother changes position more often, but he is usually not fast enough. You have to cross all available fingers that he will make it. Sometimes the little ones are tougher than you think.

May 22nd (Outside temperature 23°C, sunny)

Unfortunately, it has come as feared. Since yesterday there are only 5 chicks in the nest, the little one unfortunately did not make it. Especially during feeding it was always at a disadvantage and was very often pushed aside. For the mother hawk a very difficult task to keep everything in view and not to disadvantage anyone.

May 24th (Outside temperature 15°C, partly sunny)

Today the mother hawk is quite a long time outside the niche and the tercile brought a mouse in the afternoon, which was immediately snatched from him. Two of the young then tried their hand at cutting up the prey, which more or less succeeded. Strong performance for 2 weeks young hawk cubs.

June 15th (Outside temperature 24°C, sunny)

Because of our vacation we could not write any current entries for the diary, however, we could observe from a distance from time to time the young falcons. The past weeks seem to have passed normally and so today in the early morning hours we could see the outing of 3 falcons. They sit in the tree opposite and observe quite calmly the falcon niche with the siblings or the church roof, where the parents take turns. The storks next door do not seem to have any offspring, but one of the storks stays in the nesting aid for quite a long time during the day, so that it will probably not be available for flight exercises.



June 16th (Outside temperature 26°C, sunny)

The past night was spent by all in the niche, even together with the mother, which due to the size can no longer be distinguished from her children. Then early in the morning one after the other No. 4 and No. 5 also flew out, the last one always returning to the niche during the day. He is also the only one who stays mainly in the vicinity, he flies again and again from the tree to the church tower and back. The others are already practicing at a higher altitude, even smaller attacks could be observed. One of them was already on the way with the mother hawk for a longer time, the tercel is meanwhile watching over the happenings around the church.

June 30th (Outside temperature 26°C, rainy)

The young hawks have been flying out for two weeks now and there are always two, sometimes three of them near the church. One sleeps in the niche every night and can always be found there during the day. The feedings still take place regularly with loud screams from all involved, the parent birds are chased and the young ones pounce on them, a real spectacle. From time to time they can be seen sitting on roofs and chimneys nearby or circling high up in the air.