Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nest Boxes

The last several weeks have been All Kestrels All the Time.  Yesterday, Dino and I installed the last of a total of 79 nest boxes designed to attract American Kestrels.  Dino has been working non-stop on this project since December and we were celebrating yesterday evening for sure.

Dino got some great help from quite a few other volunteers from the local Audubon Society, hosting work parties in our shop building to manufacture the boxes, not to mention assistance in erecting the metal poles and nest boxes in the various locations around Madera and Merced counties where the boxes were placed.

It was really a lot of work, but the hope is that the boxes will attract a multitude of kestrels in these open grasslands areas where there are few naturally occurring nest cavities they can use.  We did hear the other day from a fellow Audubon member that she had seen a male kestrel on one of the first boxes that got put up, so fingers are firmly crossed.

The boxes will be monitored through March and April, possibly into May, meaning that volunteers will visit each nest box every couple of weeks to see if it is being used for nesting, which species is using the nest, how many nestlings hatch and so on.  The data will be used by the Peregrine Fund which provided some funding for purchase of the nest box materials, in an ongoing project they are starting this year to study kestrels.

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