Kestrels at Hildacy

July 22, 2013

Mike Coll, Hildacy Preserve Manager

The American Kestrel is North America’s smallest falcon. It is a cavity-nesting bird that lives in open areas like meadows. Because grassland habitat has decreased in this part of the country and because there are few old dead trees left standing that could provide cavities, Kestrel populations have shown significant declines in recent years.

I put a nest box on a post in the upper meadow at Hildacy about three years ago. While I had previously seen Kestrels sitting near the box at the beginning of breeding season, it wasn’t until I moved the box further into the interior of the meadow this year that a pair decided to take up residence.

With the help of volunteer Ron Zigler, I was able to capture this video of the young birds when they were about two weeks old. It is tough to tell if there are three or four birds in the box, but since then they all have successfully fledged and I’ve seen them sitting in the trees surrounding the meadow.

Ron recently completed a study of kestrels nesting at our Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve… check out that blog post, too!