Northeast Connecticut

Kestrel Project

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2010 Nesting Success Summary | 2011 Nesting Success Summary | 2012 Nesting Success Summary

Beginning with my earliest wanderings as a youth, I have had a special admiration for the American Kestrel. In the last 30 years the numbers of these magnificent little falcons have been in a very steady, steep decline in Connecticut. There are many theories about why kestrel numbers have declined so sharply, but the truth is that no one knows for sure exactly why this is occurring. Instead of standing around bemoaning this decline, I decided in 2008 to try and actively work to begin rebuilding local populations of the American Kestrel.

The two factors that seem to be most important when trying to rebuild local populations are finding the appropriate habitat and providing quality nest boxes for their use in those habitats. In 2008 I began knocking on doors and put up 6 kestrel boxes very close to my home in Tolland, CT. I did get birds to successfully fledge from two boxes, so, in 2009, I increased the number of box placements to 17 boxes. As a way of more clearly defining my work in this area, I founded the Northeast Connecticut Kestrel Project at the end of the 2009 season with my good friend John Stake. As I become aware of more properties with suitable habitat in northeast and north central Connecticut, I will continue expanding the scope of this project whenever possible.

The landowners who have so enthusiastically supported our work have been crucial to our success. Without their permission to put boxes up on their various properties, our project would have no future. It is very rewarding to encounter so many landowners who have never heard of the American Kestrel before, yet freely and openly support my efforts to rebuild their local populations.

I would like to close by thanking Art Gingert of West Cornwall for his constant help and advice as our work has progressed. We are the new kids on the block. For over 30 years, Art has been actively involved in helping rebuild the local populations of kestrels in northwest Connecticut with a passion and dedication that burns as brightly today as it did way back when. Thanks Art.

Tom Sayers

Tolland, CT


Created by: Tom Sayers
Last Updated: January 3, 2013
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