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The Essex County Ornithological Club is sponsoring a program to install and maintain nest boxes for North America's smallest falcon, the American Kestrel, Falco sparverius, whose numbers are rapidly declining in the northeast portion of the country. Though reasons for this decline are still unclear at the present time habitat loss and the lack of suitable nest holes have been mentioned as contributing factors.

 

Nest boxes should be placed in open fields, meadows or along hedgerows next to open areas. A grassy habitat should be near the box so kestrels can use it for hunting. By placing the box within at least one acre of open habitat and spacing multiple boxes roughly one half mile apart, you’ll increase the likelihood of attracting breeding birds.

A limited number of nest boxes and poles are available. Should you own or know of suitable habitat with a willing host within Essex County for the placement of a kestrel nest box and wish to participate in this program please contact the ECOC Webmaster Phil Brown at ecocmail@comcast.net


1st Successful ECOC American Kestrel Nest Box

After 7 seasons of evicting Starlings and hoping for Kestrels we had our 1st successful nest in one of the boxes placed in Ipswich.

The rest of the story....

The first pole mounted nest box was installed in September of 2007 on Sharon & Joe Stichter's property in Newbury, MA. The combination of open fields, nearby perches and very gracious hosts make this location ideal. Thank you both!

"Click" on any image for a larger photo.


"Click" on any image for a larger photo...


Habitat & more...

The good folks at Appleton Farms in Ipswich,
a TTOR property, allowed us to install two
nest boxes, one at either end of their
fabulous property.


Strawberry Hill, Ipswich

Through the efforts of Jim Berry,
past President of the ECOC &
Beth O'Connor, working for the
Town of Ipswich, we were able
to install a nest box on the
Strawberry Hill property along
Jeffrey's Neck Road in Ipswich.


James Styles (seen below) worked through both the permission and installation phases for the placement of a nest box on the New England Biolabs property in Ipswich.

Glen Cook of Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury kindly allowed a nest box to be placed on their environmentally friendly farm.



The fine people at Salisbury Beach State Park
granted us permission to install two
nest boxes along the entrance road.

One pole mounted the other on an
unused Osprey platform.
 


Mark Richey, owner of Mark Richey Woodworking off of Parker Street in Newburyport, allowed us to install a pole mounted box at the back of his pond.

 You can see the box to the right of his fabulous wind turbine.


Scott Weston of Hamilton, MA donated the "Squirrel Resistant" Kestrel box seen to the right which is on a tree at Mark Richey Woodworking. Scott puts these together for his "Owl Oasis Trail".

More information on the box design as well as a link to his Etsy site where Scott sells the boxes can be found through the link above.

Thanks very much Scott!! 
 

Larry Morris of Witch Hollow Farm in Boxford granted us permission to install a pole mounted box in his field, seen below.

That's Steve Grinley with the shovel on the left who assisted with the installations at both this and Mark Richey's property. Thanks Steve!


Jan Pettengill Richenburg of
Pettengill Farm, 45 Ferry Road,
Salisbury, MA allowed us to
install a box on a pole at the
back of their lovely Farm.

The Davis Family of Essex, MA kindly allowed us to install a box on their Osprey pole off of Western Ave. I've seen several Osprey fish the pond over the years but none have used the platform.. yet!


Joe Teixeira, a member of the Newburyport Conservation Commission, walked two portions of the Common Pasture with me last fall, the Cooper's North Pasture and Wet Meadows, both along Hale St in Newburyport, as we picked out two great locations for a pair of Kestrel boxes which I installed the spring of 2013 with help from Steve Grinley & Margo Goetschkes seen here to the right.

 

Joe Teixeira, a member of the Newburyport Conservation Commission, walked two portions of the Common Pasture with me last fall, the Cooper's North Pasture and Wet Meadows, both along Hale St in Newburyport, as we picked out two great locations for a pair of Kestrel boxes which I installed the spring of 2013 with help from Steve Grinley & Margo Goetschkes seen above.

Patricia Huckery, District Manager of the Northeast District with the Division of Fish & Wildlife kindly gave me permission to place a box in the fields along Rte 1 in Newbury on the William Forward Wildlife Management Area property.  

Information on a successful nest box program being run by Tom Sayers in Connecticut can be found at:

Northeast Connecticut Kestrel Program

Further information on the decline of the American Kestrel can be found at:

From: Hawk Mountain.Org

http://hawkmountain.org/media/kestrelCSR_June07.pdf

From: Hawk Migration Association of North America

The Case of the American Kestrel
Ernesto Ruelas Inzunza