DO YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED TO BUILD AN AMERICAN KESTREL NEST BOX?
Some things you will need to think about before you start building your Kestrel nest box. If you answer yes to these three questions then click the link below to learn how to start building your very own American Kestrel nest box.
1. Do you have suitable hunting habitat near your home?
Kestrels are very adaptable birds and can use any type of open space for hunting territory. Make sure you have suitable habitat within ½ – 1 mile of your home before installing your nest box. Suitable habitat is any open space such as; golf courses, city parks, fields, vacant lots, cemeteries, canyons, hillsides, or any other open space that could contain mice and insects.
2. Do you have a good location to place a nest box?
Kestrels prefer nest sites that are open or that have a commanding view of the area around the box. Boxes should be installed from 6 – 12 feet off the ground and should preferably face South or East. A nest box can be attached to a pole that is cemented into the ground, the side of a building, or even a tree, as long at the box is not covered by foliage and has a good view of the surrounding area. You should make sure your nest box can be installed somewhere that isn’t frequently disturbed by people or pets. Young Kestrels often fall to the ground when first learning to fly so it is important to make sure your box is not right next to a road, pool, or other place where a young, flightless bird could be injured.
3. Are you okay with other visitors to your nest box?
Other species of birds will often find and use a Kestrel nest box. These birds include; Wood Ducks, Western Bluebirds, Western Screech Owls, European Starlings, and House Sparrows. If European Starlings or House Sparrows build a nest in your box you are allowed to remove it and hope for a Kestrel instead. However if any other bird decides to use your nest box, federal law prohibits you from removing their nest or disturbing their nesting in any way. Nest boxes will also occasionally attract bees in search of a new hive. So keep in mind that this is a possibility and something to consider before installing your nest box.