Richard and Diane Van Vleck Personal Pages
The Home Habitat
Kestrels are quite common in the open farmland of rural Maryland. Ours have always taken to nestboxes, both at the creek and in the yard. While we have enjoyed having them up near the house, we are going to lure them further away this year in deference to our new purple martin colony. The kestrels have posed no problem for the barn swallows in the past 15 years, even though their box is mounted on the barn directly over the swallows' entrance. However, kestrels have been known to wipe out entire martin colonies, since the large entrance holes required by martins allow them easy access. While our kestrels spend a great deal of time around the barn in winter, they dine primarily on grasshoppers and voles during the nesting season. The martins have handled the kestrels quite well in the past two seasons, but it will be nice to have the kestrels further away.
|barn owl||American kestrel||purple martin||barn swallow||Eastern bluebird|
|tufted titmouse||Eastern phoebe||yellow shafted flicker||tree swallow||chimney swift|
|house wren||big brown bat||Carolina wren||brown thrasher||catbird|
|cedar waxwing||Northern mockingbird|
|Yellow warbler||Acadian flycatcher|
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