March 30, 2009: The Rock Doves have settled into the nest box. Last year, the nest box was used by the kestrels, and when they left, the Rock Doves moved in. Now both couples view the nest box as their own.
The male Kestrel arrives at dawn to warn the nesting Rock Dove. Then the female, who is larger than the male, arrives. The Rock Dove's defense is to snap her wings at the intruders. This goes on for some time, with the Kestrels taking turns. Finally Rock Dove Dad arrives, only to immediately fly away. The end of the video shows the male Kestrel, who has brought courting gifts of voles to the female over the last few weeks.
The Kestrels have a long nesting period, so perhaps they will move in after the baby Rock Doves hatch and fledge. But the clock is ticking, and the Kestrels need to find a nest box or other location by May...
Watch the drama at this site:
Nest boxes are in great demand: http://www.HancockWildLifeChannel.org/mediaga llery/mediaobjects/orig/a/a_lookin_for_a_home .wmv