In partnership with HawkWatch International, Mark Miller Subaru sponsors efforts to build dozens of homes (aka nest boxes) to support American Kestrel conservation and HawkWatch International's long-term Kestrel studies. The American Kestrel is the smallest, most colorful falcon in North America, and their populations have been declining throughout vast swaths of their range for reasons still unknown. The Kestrel is a secondary cavity nesting bird, which means it relies on holes in trees made by decay or other birds such as Woodpeckers for nesting and roosting habitat. One theory behind their decline is loss of nesting cavities due to human development and competition from non-native, invasive species such as the European Starling. HawkWatch International works with dozens of "community science" volunteers to install and monitor nest boxes to track box occupancy, breeding success, and survival rates. The goal for all of this data is to help figure out the reasons behind population declines, so that organizations such as HawkWatch can take swift conservation action.


What's in our box?
For the past few years, Bleu's box has been occupied by Starlings. Although we remain hopeful each year that Kestrels move in, there is still much we can learn behind the nesting ecology of Starlings and their interaction with Kestrels when competing can be fierce. Let's watch our nest cam together this spring and see who moves in.

 

Click here to learn more about the American Kestrel and HawkWatch International's research project, and to get involved.