American Kestrels have been declining in recent years due to loss of open grassland habitat and lack of suitable nesting trees with cavities. To help reverse this trend, the Montezuma Audubon Center, along with other Audubon centers and chapters, participated in the American Kestrel Project started by Audubon New York and funded by TogetherGreen*. Nest boxes were erected in the northern part of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex in cooperation with the NYS DOT and also on cooperating private lands in the area. Volunteers then began monitoring the boxes to watch for signs of success. During the winter, the boxes will provide cover and roosting sites for kestrels, screech owls and other birds.
[*TogetherGreen is a five-year initiative launched in 2008 by Audubon and Toyota to fund conservation projects, train environmental leaders, and offer volunteer opportunities that benefit the environment.]
There is an American Kestrel species account on this website, or learn more about American Kestrels at Audubon New York. For a news release on the project, see the September 14, 2009 Newswire, and scroll part way down page 2.
Photo of American Kestrel fledglings at right (taken June 25 at an older pre-project nest box) © Dave Spier