Hi, I am new to this group. I joined because I wanted to share something we have done to make our kestrels happier and stick around more. I hope this hasn’t already been posted before.
We have 2 active kestrel boxes, a bit south of Santa Fe, NM on 25 acres of flat grassy prairie, we have few trees out here and only when people have planted them. So our kestrels LOVE our nesting boxes, 15ft up....they sit up there and perch all the time. We had babies this year, too!
It tends to be very windy here and I had observed our kestrels having a very hard time sitting on top of the nesting box with not much to hold onto and often, when it was really windy, we didn’t see them perched on the boxes at all.
So just a few weeks ago, my husband added “perches”! We have an abundance of cholla cactus here and when it is dead and old and dry, it is a very interesting piece of “wood” with many nooks and crannies for talons to get a good grip on. I am sure this could also be done with other types of branches, it’s just what we used because we had it available.
In the few weeks since we made this change, we have seen the kestrels sit on top of our nesting boxes much more often, even in very windy weather. I actually made a video clip of our “Wind Surfing Kestrel”. I can tell you that before the added pieces of the cholla cactus, that kestrel would have had nothing to really hold onto in that kind of wind and it wouldn't have been there. They took to the addition immediately!
I just thought I’d share this with you because it seems like such an easy yet successful and nice addition to a nesting box.