The female lays between three and six eggs in a nest site, often and old building, hollow in a tree or in a disused nest - they do not build nests themselves! Nesting is dependent on the availability of food, which consists mainly of field mice and voles. In some years a female may not nest at all. The eggs are incubated for 27 to 29 days and for the first ten days after hatching have to be constantly covered as the chicks are not able to regulate their body temperature. During this time the female is reliant on the male providing all of the feed for the female and chicks. Gradually the female will leave the nest and hunt for food, but no great distance from the nesting site. After fledging the chicks are reliant on the parents for food for up to four weeks, in this time they will gradually move further away from the nest during the day but always return to roost at night.
Kestrels are unusual birds of prey as there is no race to become the dominant chick and they will quite happily roost together.