Age-related differences in reproductive or breeding success, as measured by clutch size, hatching rate, nestling survival, and number of fledglings produced, have been well documented in many species of birds. The experience gained through successive breeding attempts can improve foraging abilities, survival skills, access to resources through social dominance, and familiarity with each stage of reproduction. We examined 696 breeding attempts by American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) from a population that bred in nest boxes in northwestern New Jersey from 1995 to 2021. We tested the hypothesis that older kestrels have greater breeding success than those in their first breeding season. Clutch size, nestling survival rate, and the number of fledglings varied significantly and positively with the age of one or both parents. These trends were significantly correlated with the date of clutch initiation; older birds initiated clutches earlier than those in their first breeding attempt. However, after we controlled for laying date, older birds still had larger clutch sizes, higher nestling survival rates, and greater numbers of fledglings. The relationship between age and breeding success was more pronounced for males than females. This difference is consistent with the behavioral roles of each sex during a breeding attempt. After laying a clutch, females perform most of the incubation and brood young nestlings. In contrast, males provide food for females prior to egg laying and throughout incubation, and to the entire family until the nestlings no longer are brooded by the female. Females paired with older males had significantly greater body mass index values (weight/wing chord) than those paired with second-year males. Pairs where both adults were older had significantly greater breeding success than mixed or young pairs, and we never observed an older female paired to a male during his first breeding attempt.

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