Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version



"Notes," from Nebraska Bird Review (March 1989) 57(1): 30-32.


Copyright 1989, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


KESTREL NEST BOX RESULTS. In 1986 the Game and Parks Commission obtained the consent of the Department of Roads to install nest boxes, intended for Kestrels, on the back of large highway signs on 1-80 between Lincoln and Omaha. Kestrels nested in old woodpecker holes, but trees, particularly dead trees, have been cut down, and the introductions of the European Starling increased the competition for such cavity nest holes. Since the highway right-of-way is a good hunting area for the Kestrels, it is a good place for nest boxes intended for their use. The Sierra Club worked with the Commission in the placing and monitoring (to discourage any Starlings, to check on any Kestrels, and to band young Kestrels) of the boxes. In 1986 only Starlings occupied the boxes; in 1987 7 (6 west of the Platte, 1 east) of the 31 available boxes were used by Kestrels, and in 1988 12 (9 west and 3 east of the Platte) of the 29 available boxes were used by Kestrels. (One box west of the Plate was lost because the highway sign was removed;; one east of the Platte was removed because it was felt that it was in an unsafe location). The higher use west of the Platte is partly due to the fact that originally there were 18 boxes west of the Platte and 13 east of it, and possibly to lesser competition from Starlings the farther the boxes were from Omaha. John J. Dinan of the Commission provided the information from which this was summarized.