General Discussion : Winter Banded Kestrels

Hello everyone,

I have been banding Kestrels this winter in Maryland so be on the look out this spring if you have nestboxes north of MD for banded parents.  They are just USGS bands NOT color bands.  I have not had any kestrels breeding in my nestboxes and have seen low numbers of kestrels during the summer but plenty in the winter.  I began this study in hopes of finding out where these kestrels are going and if any are hanging around.  We are working on installing 2 MOTUS towers in my county and plan on putting some MOTUS tags on kestrels in the future. If you do catch a banded bird north of MD please report the band and you can always email me at



jonathan clarkson's picture

Hi Gene,

I have a project in western NY and I'm finding the exact opposite! Almost all of our boxes were occupied last year and all had 3-4 young mostly males. I have been wondering where our kestrels go in the winter. We typically only band the young but we can certainly try to band the adults once they return this spring.  My theory is we get too much snow up here making it difficult to hunt.  


CalvertKestrels's picture

Hello Jonathan,

Glad you all are having great sucess with the nestboxes!  The snow seems like a good reason for them to head south. Hopefully you will get one of my winter birds this year that would be really awesome!  After attending the kestrel symposium in 2017 there was a lot of talk about how adults can be banded in the box once nestlings are present.  Hopefully this will get more folks to attempt to capture the adults while checking the nestboxes as this is a mjaor way people will find the birds I band.  Of course there is a chance of them getting captured in a migration station but finding where they are nesting would be an excellent discovery!  I would love to get a foriegn recapture when doing winter banding but it will still be exciting to capture birds i have banded in previous winters in MD.

Administrator - The Peregrine Fund's picture

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Posted in General Discussion by CalvertKestrels 3 years 11 months ago.