The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is a fairly common breeder in the central and northern part of BCR 14. It is a cavity nester and prefers forested edges of grasslands, pastures, larger beaver flowages and utility rights-of-way. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.
This bird requires nest cavities in trees with diameters greater than 13 inches. Nest boxes placed in 12-inch trees along field edges or wooded “islands” in open areas will also be used. It usually hunts over open areas for small rodents or grasshoppers. Elevated perches along the edges of openings are also a requirement.
Its territory size is around 300 acres.
Habitat Management Practices
Maintain a series of grassy or shrubby openings with a forested edge (primarily deciduous) that contains perch trees and cavity trees. Use periodic mowing or grazing to maintain a 2-foot or less height in the openings.
Uneven-aged management, using single tree selection, in the forested areas would work the best. Retain cavity trees and perch trees along the edges of the openings when selecting trees to cut.