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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Incubating American kestrels Falco sparverius might tolerate low levels of disturbance during nest relocation

Published source details

Carpenter T.W. (1992) American kestrel completes clutch following movement of its nest box. Journal of Raptor Research, 26, 268-268


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

Translocate nests to avoid disturbance Bird Conservation

A single-site study in May 1992 in one field containing an American kestrel Falco sparverius breeding pair in an artificial nest box in Ohio, USA (Carpenter 1992) found that the breeding pair tolerated initial, but not continued, human disturbance. The nestbox (containing two eggs), initially located in a maple tree, was removed from the tree and placed upright on the ground 3 m away while the tree was felled. The male was found incubating the eggs at this time. The nestbox was subsequently attached to a steel fencepost 10 m away.  Although the female kestrel entered the nest initially, the birds appeared to abandon the nest and were later observed copulating near a nest box located 1 km away. When checked, the translocated nest box contained 5 cold eggs. Three eggs were therefore laid after the nest was moved and incubation was initiated while the nest box was on the ground. The author suggests that kestrel nests may be successfully relocated to a short distance if further disturbance is kept to a minimum.