New Member Questions

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Rick Folkening
Rick Folkening's picture
New Member Questions

Hello,

I've been a birder for a few years and participated in the Nest Watch Program for the last 4 years.  This year I've expanded to putting out American Kestrel boxes.  I thought I'd come to this great knowledge base for some helpful hints.

I live in central Indiana about 20 miles east of Indy, luckily still mostly farmland with subdivisions.  I've seen quite a few Kestrals in the area for about a month.  I've placed several of the boxes near places I see them hunting (getting permission from the land owners).  There is one location I'm considering but it doesn't seem ideal.  It is close to a busy road, across the road is a new gas station.  They hang out in a big tree right next to the road and I noticed the female go into an opening in the soffet of an unoccupied house on the property.  There is a fair amount of grassy area nearby.  I asked the owner about access to the land and permission to put up a box, he was fine with that and really didn't want any birds in the house.  Should I install a box near the opening in the house and cover their access or leave the hole open and see if they transition to my box.  I'm a bit concerned about this area being too busy.  Please comment on any of my rambling remarks, specifically if placing boxes close to hunting grounds a good way to choose locations and the location near the busy road.

Thanks

Rick Folkening

New Palestine, IN

Heidi Henderson
Heidi Henderson's picture

Hello Rick, 

I am an intern at the Peregrine Fund. Your concern for box placement is appreciated. We do not encourage nest boxes being placed in busy areas, but without seeing the property it is difficult to make a recommendation. 

Blocking kestrel access to the house is more complicated. We ask that everyone be mindful of migratory birds and access to nesting sites in areas with few natural cavities. However, if the owner would like the access to be blocked, now would probably be a good time to do so if you can confirm that no eggs have been laid yet (highly unlikely that there are eggs right now). 

Many Thanks,

Heidi Henderson