The Cornell Lab of Ornithology posted this new nestbox cam – American Kestrels! This small raptor ranges across most of the United States and Canada and parts of Central and South America. I’ve seen them occasionally in the fields of Southern Ohio and along highways.
The eggs have hatched but I have not been able to capture a shot of mama off the nest yet. What a view of the mountains in the distance! The box is near Boise, Idaho, USA. Below are the details and links for more info.
About the Kestrels
These American Kestrels are nesting in a nest box maintained by The Peregrine Fund at its international headquarters, the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho. The male, previously a falconry bird, was released at the World Center for Birds of Prey in 2012. He promptly found a mate and took up residence in the nest box. Because the female is unbanded, we don’t know whether she nested here in previous years.
This pair has five eggs, with the last egg laid on April 25. The estimated hatch date is May 24.
About the Nest
The nest box is surrounded by sage-scrub habitat. This desert ecosystem supports a wealth of small rodents, reptiles, and insects. The short vegetation provides ideal habitat for the kestrels.
In 2011, kestrels in this nest box fledged five young.
The Peregrine Fund’s American Kestrel Partnership
The Peregrine Fund’s American Kestrel Partnership is a research and conservation project founded in response to kestrel declines in many areas of North America. The causes of these declines are unclear. The project is an ambitious, continentwide research network that enlists the efforts of both professional and citizen scientists. For this extraordinary raptor, every effort counts. Please visit the American Kestrel Partnership website to join the team!
The Peregrine Fund was founded in 1970 by Dr. Tom Cade at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in response to the catastrophic decline of the Peregrine Falcon due to DDT-produced eggshell thinning. The Peregrine Fund pioneered captive propagation techniques and released more than 4,500 young peregrines into the wild—culminating in their removal from the Endangered Species List in 1999. During and since, The Peregrine Fund we has been engaged in conservation efforts on behalf of 102 species in 65 countries worldwide, including the California Condor, the Aplomado Falcon, and now the American Kestrel.