Monday, September 8, 2014

American Kestrel

This American Kestrel posed for my photograph at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge last March. Kestrels hunt from perches in open areas. They nest in cavities made by other birds such as woodpeckers, or in natural holes in rocks or buildings. Here in Minnesota, they nest in boxes placed by the highway department on the back of large Interstate signs. Smallwood and Bird (2002) write, "The species readily uses artificial nest boxes, and there is increasing public interest in participating in nest-box programs." Kestrel populations are limited by the availability of nesting cavities. I do not know if the creation of oak savannas, a popular pastime among many Minnesota conservationists, helps or hinders kestrels. Large, open areas are created. On the other hand, many old, dead, potential nesting trees are cut down.


  1. Gorgeous image, Dan. I sure miss seeing these birds around...

  2. Thanks. I see kestrels in Rice County, but the seem to be less common now than in previous years.