Home sweet home is a box on a wall

A Family of Kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech.

A family of kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech. The clutch of chicks is thought to be at least 4. Wisbech Friday 10 June 2022. - Credit: Terry Harris

They may not have TripAdvisor to help them, but when it comes to finding somewhere to stay the kestrel is in a class of its own.  

This is the fourth-year kestrels have chosen the same box some 30 ft above ground level as their ‘family home’ to hatch their chicks. 

Residents have become used to watching the comings and goings of the kestrels to a box secured to a factory building near Horseshoe Terrace, Wisbech. 

“I am delighted to report that for at least the fourth year in a row, Kestrel chicks have hatched here,” said one local resident. 

A Family of Kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech. The Clutch of chicks is thought to be

Kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech. The clutch of chicks is thought to be at least 4 - Credit: Terry Harris


A Family of Kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech.

Kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech. The clutch of chicks is thought to be at least 4., - Credit: Terry Harris

“There are at least four chicks we’ve seen this year.” 

Kestrels are resilient and, say experts, enjoy extremely sharp eyesight; they are said to be able to spot a beetle, for instance, from 50 metres away. 

A Family of Kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech.

Kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech. The clutch of chicks is thought to be at least 4. - Credit: Terry Harris

They are also known to be able to see ultraviolet light, which is invisible to the human eye.  

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That means, for example, they can detect such useful clues as the urine trails left by rodents on the ground, helping them find their prey.

A Family of Kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech.

A family of kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech. The clutch of chicks is thought to be at least 4. - Credit: Terry Harris

And if you want another not well-known fact about the kestrel, here’s one provided by the RSPB.  

“Did you know that Kestrels are the only bird of prey capable of hovering?” says the RSPB Twitter feed. 

A Family of Kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech.

A Family of kestrels spotted nesting above a yard in Wisbech. The clutch of chicks is thought to be at least 4 - Credit: Terry Harris

“But they can't flap their wings fast enough to do it alone - they rely on flying into wind to give them lift!”