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Owl Moon Raptor Center
Boyds, Maryland 20841

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Kestrel Nest Boxes are the Best Boxes

Kestrel parent sitting on clutch of eggs in a nest box. Owl Moon Raptor Center.

At Owl Moon, our love for raptors extends beyond rescue and rehabilitation. We also help conserve the American kestrel, a bird facing declining populations each year. Thanks to the generosity of local landowners, we installed 18 nest boxes across the county. These boxes are strategically positioned on poles in or near agricultural fields where kestrels prefer to hunt for insects and small prey. These nest boxes increase the chances of reproductive success by providing safe, easy to use homes for kestrels to have their chicks. Since 2011, our volunteers have maintained these nest boxes ensuring that they are clean and ready in late winter.

Once the kestrel breeding season begins in late spring to early summer, our team conducts regular surveys every 1-2 weeks. Diligent record-keeping tracks which boxes are occupied by these beautiful birds and the clutch size if eggs are successfully laid. Though some nest boxes may host starlings or other non-target species instead, we usually find a high percentage of  kestrel nests. As the eggs hatch, our volunteers assess the newborns' health, determine their sex, and measure various anatomical features (e.g., wing chord) to gauge their age. Each chick is carefully banded (we have a permit to do this!), and the data is uploaded to the USGS Bird Banding Lab contributing vital information to kestrel conservation efforts. This project allows us to witness the lifecycle of kestrels and contribute to their future in our skies. Join us in celebrating these remarkable birds and the work that sustains them by donating today!

Our Impact This Year

  • Birds Admitted in 2023

    536

  • Volunteer Hours Rescuing, Rehabilitating, and Releasing in 2023

    10,000

Owl Moon Raptor Center
Owl Moon Raptor Center
Boyds, Maryland 20841
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