Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Wildlife and Fisheries Biology
Ferrisburgh Vermont, nest box, American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) have been experiencing population declines in North America in recent decades, likely due to increased urban development and the subsequent loss of grassland habitat and standing dead trees that provide cavities in which they nest. In populations where nest sites are a limiting factor, artificial nest boxes have been used to increase an area’s carrying capacity. The goal of this project was to investigate if and how nest boxes in western Vermont are used by kestrels. An experimental and control area were selected, and kestrel population surveys were conducted in both areas before and after nest box installation. Fourteen nest boxes were set up in Ferrisburgh, Vermont. Despite kestrels being present within the experimental area, none of the nest boxes were used by kestrels. There are several potential reasons for this result. First, it is possible that nest cavities were not a limiting resource for this population. Second, more time may have been needed to allow the kestrels to acclimate to the boxes and recognize them as potential nesting sites. And third, there were factors important to kestrels that were not considered during nest box placement, such as the type of field surrounding the nest box. In the future, a more thorough examination of active kestrel nest sites in the area would help to determine what factors affect nest site selection for this population. Additionally, continued monitoring of nest box use over a longer time period would inform additional work.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Yaros, Grace, "Use of Artificial Nest Boxes by American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) in Western Vermont" (2023). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 603.