Thursday, October 14, 2010

New American Kestrel nest box at Stratford Point

This afternoon, as our first noreaster of the season was ominously looming overhead, American Kestrel aficionado Tom Sayers dropped by to install a nest box in the coastal grassland management area at Stratford Point. Tom has placed numerous Kestrel boxes throughout the state in the past three years and his efforts are paying off. Last year alone, his boxes fledged over 40 young kestrels! As he learns more about the preferred placement of these artificial cavities, his success rate is going up and Tom is now a major contributor to the breeding success of this state threatened species!
Born out of his fear of heights, Tom now employs a low-tech telescoping pole design of his own making that allows him to lower a nest box for maintenance while otherwise leaving it perched at a height of about 13 feet, allowing its inhabitants a lofty view of their surroundings.

The coastal grassland at Stratford Point is a perfect open habitat for these small falcons and it provides ample resources in the form of small bird, mammal and dragonfly prey. In fact, American Kestrels are generally present here year-round, except for during the breeding season when they apparently go elsewhere.
We're hoping that with Tom's help we can change that next year! Thanks Tom!
For more information about Tom's work with Kestrels in Connecticut, including building plans to put together your own next box, visit:
All photographs copyright Twan Leenders

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