Camera Hidden in a Nest Captures Intimate Footage of Two Kestrels Raising a Family


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A post shared by Robert E Fuller (@robertefuller)

Wildlife artist Robert E. Fuller has dedicated his life to studying how animals, especially birds, live in their natural habitats. Visitors to his gallery on the Yorkshire Wolds get to share in one of the ways he studies: by watching birds go about their daily lives through over 100 live-feed surveillance cameras trained on the nest sites of different species.

One species Fuller keeps his eye, and cameras, on is the common kestrel, a small bird of prey belonging to the falcon family. Though the species is not known to be declining, the UK’s kestrel population has fallen by half since 1970, possibly due in part to a loss of nesting sites, such as old trees with cavities just the right size for a cozy nest. So when Fuller noticed a young male kestrel, whom he named Apollo, struggling to secure a nest spot, he took matters into his own hands. After watching Apollo get beat out for choice nesting spots by other birds several times, Fuller built a nest box for the bird himself. Within days, Apollo's call for a mate to share his new nest were answered by Athena, an older female kestrel who Fuller describes as having a “no-nonsense approach to life.”

The remarkable resulting footage, filmed through a camera hidden in the nest box, chronicles the story of a kestrel courtship and squabbles (at one point, Apollo brings inadequate food, and Athena squawks at him from the nest entrance, blocking his escape until she's finished), and their teamwork as they raise a family of five feisty kestrel chicks. There are struggles along the way—Athena uses her talons to fight off would-be intruders, and sometimes has to choose between keeping the chicks warm and helping Apollo hunt for food.  The camera in the nest box provides an intimate insight into it all, and Fuller's warm, knowledgeable narration makes the video all the more captivating.

Watch some of his videos below, and check out Fuller's social media pages for more incredible live footage of UK wildlife.

By hiding a camera inside the nest box that he built for a pair of kestrels, wildlife artist Robert E. Fuller was able to capture incredible footage of the pair's courtship and raising of a family.


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A post shared by Robert E Fuller (@robertefuller)

Robert E. Fuller: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram
h/t: [Laughing Squid]

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