Weantinoge is extremely lucky to count Art Gingert among its volunteers. Art has installed four nesting boxes on Weantinoge preserves since 2011. With his careful oversight, Weantinoge has seen nesting kestrels at properties in Kent, Salisbury, and Washington each year. And, this past July, kestrels nested at the Hauser Preservein Litchfield (one of Weantinoge’s 14 public hiking preserves) for the first time.
Kestrels nest in cavities but cannot create them. They rely on old woodpecker holes, tree hollows, and rock crevices, but they will readily take to nesting boxes if they are properly situated. Male kestrels will identify several options to show the female and the female kestrel will make the final choice.
The American kestrel (Faclo sparverius) is a state-listed threatened species, due in part to the lack of information on its population, a decline in habitat, and a perceived decline in nesting and migrating numbers.) If current trends continue, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology predicts kestrel population could decrease 50% by 2075. What will help kestrels thrive? Protecting land from development, maintaining open meadow habitat for them to hunt, and thoughtfully placed nesting boxes to replace dead trees lost to clearing or windstorms.
Do you think you have seen a kestrel or know of good nesting habitat? Let our stewardship team know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service administers the nationwide bird banding program, and if you find a banded bird (dead or alive) you can report the band number online, and receive an official document telling you what species of bird, where it was banded, by who, how old the bird was.
Photo of Art Gingert holding a female American kestrel by Don Heiny.