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CSA Welcomes Four More Kestrels

June 29, 2024
By Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA)

The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) is thrilled to welcome another family of American Kestrels to the property. This is the second clutch of four hatchlings that has been banded since the kestrel nesting boxes were installed on August 4, 2022. 

One of the gifts CSA receives by being a member of the Glacial Lakes Conservancy (GLC) is the opportunity to learn about the work of others passionate about creation and conservation. To that end, CSA has a working relationship with Master Bander and Cedar Grove Ornithological Research Station Director Danny Erickson. Dusty Krikau monitors the nests on the CSA property and reports to Danny and staff from GLC. 

On May 3, Danny and Dusty recorded five eggs being protected by the adult male kestrel. During the next visit on June 3, Dusty photographed the first hatched chick. The following week, four kestrel chicks were identified. Kestrels fledge around 28 days, so banding took place approximately 16 days after the first chick hatched. 

On June 19, Danny brought together a group of volunteers from GLC and four Sisters of St. Agnes for banding. As part of the work to help determine why kestrel populations are declining, each nestling is given a metal ankle band with a unique identification number and a plastic band with the color designated for that year. The ankles of the birds are already full grown, so the bands can be attached without any threat to the health of the bird in the future. Danny recorded data on the newly hatched chicks and placed the bands, while volunteers held each hatchling still. 

In 2023, all four nestlings were named after Catholic saints. This year, Ignatius joined that grouping and then, in honor of Juneteenth, the other three hatchlings were named Martin, Rosa, and Malcolm. As the banding concluded, the four sisters each held a kestrel and the group offered up a blessing on the birds. 

The adult kestrels kept watch during the banding and quickly resumed their parenting duties when the chicks were returned to the nest.

View more photos from the banding

Read about Cedar Grove Ornithology Research Station


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