Kestrel Box Program
The American Kestrel
The American Kestrel is North America's smallest falcon. This colorful bird is a fierce predator. It hunts insects like grasshoppers and small rodents in grasslands. The Kestrel has adapted to hunting in the ditches along roadways and can be seen perched on powerlines watching for prey.
Due to the loss of grasslands and the removal of standing dead trees used for nesting cavities the Kestrel population has been in decline for many years.
There's good news!
A conservation effort in Iowa and central states drove to put up nesting boxes for Kestrels. Thanks to these nesting box programs and habitat restoration efforts the American Kestrel population has been seeing an increase in a few Midwestern states, including Iowa!
Boone County used to have a program where nesting boxes were placed on the back of sign posts along HWY 30. This effort was successful for the population in the area.
Through donations from a local 4H group and Ogden Middle School, BCCB currently has a successful nesting box program in Boone County. The boxes are placed on power poles around the county where there seems to be suitable habitat for nesting pairs. In early spring, staff cleans out the boxes and places woodchips in the boxes for nesting material. They are checked in May for eggs, and then again in June for hatchlings. The boxes are monitored throughout the season to see which pairs get their offspring to fledging.