In many areas throughout the country, the population of kestrels has taken a noticeable decline, especially in urban areas. The cause of this decline is under investigation and TRC is helping in this effort through Kestrel Watch, a citizen science project that encourages people to report kestrel sightings to our online site.
In Minnesota, most kestrels are ¾ of the way through their breeding efforts. The eggs have hatched and the chicks (up to 5 per clutch) are at or close to fledging age. Kestrels nest in natural cavities or cavity-like structures such as nest boxes and the eves of buildings. So, if you are lucky enough to observe a family of kestrels, the males and females are busy right now hunting to feed their large brood, either by dropping food into the cavity or giving it to chicks perched on branches. When the chicks first leave the cavity, they are not polished fliers and will end up in all sorts of compromising places: on decks, air conditioners, automobiles and playground equipment to name a few. In the majority of cases, they are just fine, learning how to refine their hunting skills while they are still being taken care of by their hard-working parents.