Kestrel Facts

Posted by barnowlbox
on May 15, 2013
Comments Off on Kestrel Facts


  • Combine day-hunting kestrels with nocturnal-hunting barn owls to hit rodent populations around the clock.
  • During breeding season, a kestrel family can consume upwards of 500 voles or mice, and a large number of injurious insects including grasshoppers and locusts.
  • Numerous farmers of various crops have been erecting kestrel boxes for decades.
    An added benefit is simply having these beautiful, acrobatic hunters around.
  • The kestrel does not build a nest but instead relies on taking over crevices, hollows in trees, and the nests of other birds. This makes it easy to attract them to nest boxes.
  • The lack of suitable nesting sites is often the greatest limiting factor for kestrel populations.
  • Kestrels prefer nest boxes over natural cavities, mainly because most natural cavities are more cramped than manmade boxes.
  • The kestrel is an inhabitant of open fields, croplands, and orchards.
  • Once widely known as “the sparrow hawk”, the name kestrel is now more commonly used.
  • Although kestrels generally migrate southward in the winter, they return to their previous territories and nest sites year after year.
  • Females tend to winter farther south than males.
  • A kestrel family will eat upwards of 500 voles or mice per year as well as numerous grasshoppers and locusts.
  • Kestrels generally begin breeding in early April or May, but often breeding activity reaches its peak in early June.

About barnowlbox

Mark Browning has conducted research on barn owls for the past ten years. His project in California attracted 18 breeding pairs of barn owls that fledged 66 young on 100 acres. He is the designer of the Barn Owl Box.

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