by Barbara Walvoord
On Tuesday, March 15, two experts from the Kestrel Land Trust walked our land to explore the possibility of constructing a new home–a nesting box–for kestrels in one of our fields or meadows.
The Kestrel Land Trust is an amazing, very active organization that helps landowners put their land into Conservation Restriction (Kestreltrust.org). Lathrop may collaborate with Kestrel one day for land conservation.
But the Kestrel Land Trust also helps landowners mount nesting boxes for these amazing little falcons, whose numbers are declining.
The American kestrel (Falco sparvarius) is the smallest North American falcon–bluejay size. A kestrel hunts insects and other small prey in fields and meadows that are near woods. It will hover facing into the wind, flapping and adjusting its long tail to stay in place. It nests in cavities, usually 10-30 feet off the ground.
At Lathrop these days, we’re all about planning new dwellings, engaging consultants, architects, and builders. For potential kestrel residents, we have promising habitat. An avian consultant on March 15 helped us plan our new dwelling site. Next, the Kestrel Land Trust will act as our “builder.”
However, experts tell us there’s no guarantee that, just because we put up a dwelling, an inhabitant will come. Perhaps Michael Harvey and his marketing crew could study how to “market” to kestrels? Michael Todd, you could learn to “talk” to kestrels; they have a distinctive loud klee-klee-klee, and they also chitter and whine. Hear them at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Kestrel/sounds.