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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Different incubation temperatures lead to varying levels of hatching success in American kestrels Falco sparvenius

Published source details

Snelling J.C. (1972) Artificial Incubation of Sparrow Hawk Eggs. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 36, 1299-1304

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Artificially incubate and hand-rear raptors in captivity Bird Conservation

A replicated study in a breeding centre in New York, USA, in spring 1970 (Snelling 1972) found that artificially incubated American kestrels Falco sparverius eggs were more likely to hatch when incubated at 38.5oC (100% of 11 eggs hatching), than at 36oC (34% of 13) or 40oC (25% of 12). Whether the eggs were cooled to 21oC twice daily or not did not affect hatching success (61% of 18 cooled eggs hatching vs. 44% of 18 non-cooled eggs). Sixteen of the 19 hatched chicks were raised to fledging on a diet of minced meat. Eggs had been naturally incubated for 2-26 days before being taken from the wild.