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.

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