Nest Box location in Southwest Puerto Rico

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Mareja's picture
Nest Box location in Southwest Puerto Rico

I have finished building and installing a nest box in

the higher part of a two story house. It faces South.

I have a pair of kestrels nesting in the next doors two 

story wooden house inside the main A frame beams 

of the house.

This house has been unoccupied for the last 5 years or so.

It is at the end of a dead end road where my house also is. The house has been sold so I think the kestrels are going to be scared away by the newcomers.

the nest I installed is just about 30 yards from where they are nesting right now.

Do anyone have an idea what are the chances of

they moving in the new nest box before they are thrown away?

They seem to be using that nest site for quite a long time.

Is the orientation of the nest box very critical in the tropics?


Capt Mickey Amador 

La Parguera, Puerto Rico

AKP-Matthew's picture

It's tough to say what to expect from this pair of kestrels. If they currently have eggs—or especially nestlings—they may opt to stick it out where they are currently even after the new folks move in, as long as there isn't going to be extensive construction work and the nest cavity isn't immediately adjacent to a high-trafficked area. If they DO get scared off, they may consider your box, or they may opt to go further afield. Only time will tell.

Next breeding season, on the other hand, is a different story. American Kestrels don't often use the same nest box from year-to-year, so you'll probably be getting a new pair that will be choosing between your box and the existing cavity. This means you'd have a much stronger chance of attracting a pair next year. Your box setup looks pretty good overall, and a south-facing opening is fine for your location.

Be advised, however, that much of our knowledge is based on kestrels here in continental North America, while the breeding behavior of Caribbean birds is less well-known and may differ from that of their continental cousins. If you would be willing, we would love for you to submit observation data on your box, even if you don't have tenants for a while. Your observations would go a long way towards closing our knowledge gap, as you would be our first ever partner in Puerto Rico and only active partner in the Caribbean. You can read more about the process at, and we'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

A final question: would you mind if we used any of these photos on our social media or in our printed materials? We'd credit you any time they were used.

AKP Staff

Mareja's picture

Hello Matthew.

It's great to hear from you promptly.

The pair of Kestrels 

nested a couple months ago and the fledgings are out 

of their nest in the nearby house about 2 weeks ago.

I only see one surviving fledgling. Saw one dead in the nearby street.

I have seen the male mating with the female on May 24

I saw the male bringing food to the female yesterday.

so probably they will be nesting soon again.

What is your opinion.

Can two different Kestrels pairs have nests not far appart 

like only 30 yards away?

Sure you can use the photos.

I am willing to cooperate.

Thanks a lot 

Capt Mickey 



AKP-Matthew's picture

American Kestrels tend to be territorial during the breeding season, so they don't usually nest in close proximity to one another. We typically recommend boxes be installed a half-mile apart for this reason. That said, we do have anectodal reports of kestrels in good habitat occupying boxes that were just 100 ft apart, so anything's possible. Bottom line: we wouldn't expect there to be kestrel pairs in both your box and the currently-occupied cavity, but it's not out of the question.

Thanks for the use of the photos!

AKP Staff