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Old 05-07-2018, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default A Nest Box for American Kestrels

In the middle of February this year I put up a nest box for American kestrels.

A Nest Box for American Kestrels-kestrel-nest-box.jpg A Nest Box for American Kestrels-kestrel-nest-box-2.jpg

One kestrel was seen sitting on top of the box a few days ago, but no indication yet that a pair will nest there this spring. There has been one report that kestrels are just starting to nest about 100 miles to the west of my location.

I'm hopeful that I'll get a nesting pair and then participate in the monitoring program of the American Kestrel Project.

https://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/nest-monitoring

https://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:34 AM   #2
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In the middle of February this year I put up a nest box for American kestrels.

Attachment 45638 Attachment 45639

One kestrel was seen sitting on top of the box a few days ago, but no indication yet that a pair will nest there this spring. There has been one report that kestrels are just starting to nest about 100 miles to the west of my location.

I'm hopeful that I'll get a nesting pair and then participate in the monitoring program of the American Kestrel Project.

https://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/nest-monitoring

https://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/
Best of fortune with that project. I would emulate what you're doing, but I know English sparrows would immediately commandeer the box, like they do any other nest box I put up which isn't too small for them... Please update us with your results.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Jack. Fingers crossed.

I wouldn't worry about sparrows (or a starling for that matter) commandeering a kestrel nest. Birds are not normally a part of a kestrel's diet, but any sparrow entering a kestrel nest would most likely become lunch. They have been known to kill and eat starlings that have entered their nest.

Their diet is mostly insects and small critters sitting on the ground that they pounce on.
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:10 PM   #4
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That would be nice monitoring the nest. American Kestrels were very common around here for many years but I don't see them as often any more.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:55 AM   #5
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Thanks Jack. Fingers crossed.

I wouldn't worry about sparrows (or a starling for that matter) commandeering a kestrel nest. Birds are not normally a part of a kestrel's diet, but any sparrow entering a kestrel nest would most likely become lunch. They have been known to kill and eat starlings that have entered their nest.

Their diet is mostly insects and small critters sitting on the ground that they pounce on.
Keep us posted. I'll check out what the local bird store has and maybe give this a try...
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:27 AM   #6
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Kestrels or as they are known locally as Sparrow Harks are relatively common in my neck of the woods.
I have 2 fields that are small in size aprox 2 acres and 3 acres that I might give a try to.
Biggest obstacle is getting a nest box 8-20 ft high.
I have several Bluebird boxes that I put on trees on the edge of the fields.
For some reason the squirrels love to chew on them.
I think I'd have to put the Kestrel boxes up on a separate pole in the field far away from the woods and the squirrels.

Let us know the out common of your box.
Also how big of a field is it in and what the general area is like.
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:18 PM   #7
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My nest box is located along side a 17 acre demonstration tall grass prairie, a 15 acre old hay field and a 3 acre master gardener demonstration garden. The recommendation for nest box spacing is one-half mile, so they do hunt over a fairly large area.

The demonstration garden does have a fair amount of human activity, but kestrels seem to adapt to the presence of people quite well.

I have heard them being called sparrow hawks too. But it's kind of misleading. Birds are a very small part of a kestrel's diet in our area. They migrate south for the winter, and in that season they do eat a larger number of birds because their preferred food sources (like insects) are not available.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to placing a nest box. On top of a pole in an open area is ideal; but at the edge of a woods, on buildings and on power line poles all work very well.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:45 PM   #8
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I thought as much, I live in farm country, for the most part its either woodlots or farm fields. Some small chunks of old field here and there.

There does seem to be lots of Kestrels on the power lines along the roads. They seem to hunt the grass between the roads and the farm fields.
Maybe I might have a chance on one of my small fields that border the small country road I'm on.
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