American Kestrel Boxes
Big Oaks has partnered with Full Cycle Phenology Project with the Department of Biological Sciences for a project to collect more information on the American Kestrel in Indiana. The American Kestrel will be a model species for Full Cycle Phenology Project, to determine the effects of climate change on land birds. The boxes were put up along the West Perimeter, and since being up have been checked biweekly. Today I joined George Terlinden to check if the kestrels are using the boxes to nest. Unfortunately, the European Starlings have been taking advantage of the boxes. For those who are unfamiliar with starlings, it's important to mention that European Starlings are not native to America. The starling is, not only not native but also, an invasive species, that pushes out native species, such as Eastern Bluebirds, causing the native species populations to decline. However, each week we remove a starling nest from a box, the next week we see less starling nests. A good sign for the kestrels. There is a silver lining, 2 American kestrel eggs were found in one of the boxes a week ago. Though, today no more were added, it still could mean the kestrels will start to take advantage of the boxes. Stay tuned for more on the American Kestrels!