Sunday, March 25, 2018

Opportunity to Attract Kestrels and Aid in Kestrel Research

This post is by Brian Waitkus, I'm just putting it up. - Libby

Elizabeth Wommack, Staff Curator and Collections Manager of the University of Wyoming Museum of Vertebrates, has been studying American Kestrels in California for many years.  The researchers in California continuing this study have decided to replace their existing kestrel nest boxes with larger boxes to also, possibly, attract owls. Beth’s collaborator, Jeff Wilcox, just shipped her a set of her old kestrel nest boxes. The result of this change has made kestrel nest boxes available to Wyoming residents.

Beth would love to get them up around the local area, with land owners who wouldn't mind someone visiting with a ladder to service, check on them and to allow Beth to band the chicks and possibly the adults.  The boxes need to be placed in some open habitat, with short grass, shrub or prairie. Beth had them in a wide variety of areas though (high mountain meadows, oak woodlands, agricultural fields), but generally not urban, within the boundaries of most of Laramie proper.  Boxes placed in the center of town might be a greater attractant to House Sparrows and squirrels. Presently boxes have attracted Kestrels in West Laramie along Riverside Drive and outside of Laramie. 

In California, this design worked well with placing the boxes from 6ft to 9ft off the ground. Beth put them higher up when they might be disturbed by animals (like humans). Generally a north or eastern facing pole, structure, or tree was where they were attached with screws.

If you or anyone you know might like a box please contact Beth at

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