American Kestrels

If you would have told me ten years ago that I would own a home in El Sargento and even more unbelievable, that I would have a pair of American kestrels in March flitting in and out of a wooden nest box that I installed in my yard only 80 feet from my back patio, I would have thought you to be “crazy in the head”! But here I am enjoying the chittering of a pair of kestrels as they copulate on the hydro wires and on a bush just outside the entrance hole of my nest box, which was kindly built for me by Greg Julien and Kevin Katzmann. These are all good signs that the birds might raise young, however I have long since learned not to count my chickens, errr falcons, before they hatch. 

But just to back up a bit, you need to know that I had studied the American kestrel for no less than four decades, bred thousands of them in captivity for research purposes, and was at one time the world’s leading authority on the species. What is really incredible is that this tiny falcon used to be known as one of the most common birds of prey to be seen in North America! Today though, we are worried about losing it! 

While the kestrel does have one or two places in North America where its population is doing fairly well (the state of Idaho and the Baja Peninsula being two of them), it is fast disappearing from the landscape elsewhere, particularly in the northeastern part of the continent. Why do we know that it is declining? And what is causing the decline? Read the full story here.

Birding/Snorkelling at Cerralvo Island update: We are looking for one more person to sign up for the Cerralvo Island boat expedition on Wednesday, March 20 (tomorrow!) to make it a go. Six people accompanied me on March 14th and everyone had a great time! The cost is 125US which covers the boat and motor, a pilot, a fish ID guide, snorkelling gear, and a nice lunch. We assemble at 0730 at Palapas Ventana Resort and we are back around 1400. Because time is short, feel free to phone me. David M. Bird 686-338-9135