General Discussion : June is an exciting time for kestrels! Share what's going on with YOUR kestrel project with everyone here!

Hi All,

Here in early June, we know everyone is busy, busy monitoring nest boxes. In some regions, we are seeing fledglings and in other areas, kestrels are in incubation. It is a great time for everyone to share a bit about what you are seeing! Tell us where you are, roughly how many boxes you monitor, and what you've found recently! Thanks for sharing! 

-AKP Staff


Jared Clarke's picture

Hi All!

Here in Saskatchewan we are having a slightly better year than last year.  We have 5 clusters of boxes spread around SK this year.

Edenwold - 20 boxes - none with Kestrels, lots with starlings.  Have taken down half of these this year, as they have been up for 3 years now with no occupancy kestrels.  Will begin to place them in the Regina area later in July, where we have traditionally had better success. 

Regina - 11 boxes - 6 pairs of Kestrels, a couple of starlings.  I am going out to check boxes on Friday, and expect to band at least 1 box of nestlings.  1 female returned to the same box as in 2016, but all other females were unbanded (although haven't caught one female yet...)

Moose Jaw - 12 boxes - 1 pair of kestrels, lots of starlings.  All of these boxes were put up this spring just before kestrels returned to SK.  So we were excited to get a pair here. 

Herbert/Morse - 20 boxes - 4 pairs of kestrels, a few starlings.  This is up from one pair last year.  The single male that was banded in 2015, recaptured in a different box 5 km away in 2016, has been again recaptured in a third box in 2017.  We banded the female in a box this spring that only had a scrape and they seem to have left the nest.  

Nokomis - 10 boxes - 1 pair of kestrels, some starlings.  

It's been a good year.  Lots on the go!  

Jared Clarke 
Edenwold, SK

kurtlicence's picture


This year is Arizona's first state-wide effort contributing to the AKP, and things are off to a great start! We have over 52 nest boxes up and monitored from Southeastern to Northwestern AZ and more are installed every month. Although many nestboxes were installed late in the nesting season, we currently have at least four kestrel and one western screech owl occupied box(s). So far we have banded 32 nestlings this season at nestboxes as well as rehabilitation facilities to contribute feather samples for the AMKE genoscape project. It's great to meet you and I'm looking forward to being a part of this exciting partnership!

Kurt Licence

Phoenix, Arizona

Nu-Sun Cinema's picture

Our nestling is doing great. Junior is getting ready for some feather plucking for DNA test/Genoscape.

Photo, Mom feeding junior on June 11/17.

Link to our live stream

We will notify all when we are plucking feathers and all can watch it live !!

Have a great day,  Nu-Sun Cinema

NM-Kestrel-Laura's picture

Wow! So many great projects going on. We are impressed with all the large-scale efforts to build and put up boxes. While we just have one little box on our property (in Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA), we are contributing to the research with ours, too.

On 5/25 & 5/26 eggs hatched in the box, one each day (of 4 laid). On Friday, 6/9/2017, a raptor biologist, Dr. Joel Pagel, drove down from Albuquerque (about 3.5 hrs away) to band the 2 chicks and draw blood for the AMKE Kestrel Genoscape Project, led by researchers at Boise State University. Dr. Pagel plans to come back when it gets cooler in the fall and band the adults, so that we can see if these particular kestrel parents return. He also took the unhatched eggs for an egg respository that stores and offers egg shell samples to researchers who study the chemical composition of the shell to understand environmental exposures, diet, etc. We are contributing our nest box observations here, too, and appreciate all the staff effort to provide this valuable resource.  Meanwhile our kestrels appear to be thriving. I hope to they make it through what is predicted to be a blistering weekend -- 106F--Wish us luck!
--Laura Haas

sacajaweaaudubon's picture

Hi Everyone,

This is Paulette Epple of the Sacajawea Audubon Society reporting in from Bozeman, Montana.  Our project continues to grow in success each year.  This year we are monitoring 16 active kestrel nests (up from 9 last year).  Our occupancy rate is still quite low since we have over 70 boxes installed, so we are challenging ourselves to move some of the poorly sited boxes to better habitats each year.  Our kestrels are giving us a amazingly long nesting season this year.  The earliest eggs were laid in the last days of April, the majority of eggs were laid in May, and we had two very late boxes surprise us with late June nest commencements.   Those nests won’t be fledging until August and they will have to endure more of our hotter than average summer temps in the 90’s.

We are thrilled to have banded 6 adults and 45 nestlings so far, with more on the way.  Hopefully we will also end the season with feather samples collected from 15 nests.  Several of our nests were built on partial starling nests that had been initiated in the boxes.

One of our nests was abandoned this year much to our dismay.  We had poked a camera on a pole into a box to check on progress shortly after the birds started incubation and in the process we flushed the female from the nest.  Our land owner said he never saw the birds again and we have to assume that our disturbance caused the birds to abandon the nest.  Heartbreaking!   Kestrels usually are not bothered by our nest checks but in the future we will try to avoid disturbing the birds until they are well into incubation.

So great to hear about all the other projects going on.  Its inspirational!  Good luck to all.  Below I'll include a photo of one of the stars of our project.

Paulette Epple

Sacajawea Audubon Society

NM-Kestrel-Laura's picture

What a beautiful girl! Congratulations on so many successful nests!

Delorahilleary's picture

Congratulations on the nests! Awesome photos too :)

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Posted in General Discussion by Sarah Schulwitz 10 months 3 weeks ago.