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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Influence of nest box placement and density on abundance and productivity of American kestrels Falco sparverius in Boone County, central Missouri, USA

Published source details

Toland B. & Elder W. (1987) Influence of nest-box placement and density on abundance and productivity of American kestrels in central Missouri. Wilson Bulletin, 99, 712-717


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide artificial nesting sites for falcons Bird Conservation

A controlled before-and-after study in Missouri, USA (Toland & Elder 1987), found a large increase in nesting and overwinter population densities of American kestrels Falco sparverius in a 78 km2 area, where 125 nest boxes were erected in 1982-3 (0.05 birds/km2 in 1977-81 vs. 0.32 birds/km2 in 1984). There was no increase in a 90 km2 control area, without nest boxes (0.02 birds/km2 in 1977-81 vs. 0.03 birds/km2 in 1984), but there was in an urban control area (0.13 birds/km2 in 1977-81 vs. 0.23 birds/km2 in 1984), possibly due to increased food availability. Overall, kestrels used 53% of the 125 nest boxes available. Nesting success was significantly higher in boxes mounted on man-made structures (64-78% on buildings and utility poles) than on trees (33%), but still lower than in natural sites (86–88%). However, they produced as many young through double broods and replacement clutches.