NewsFront RangeLoveland


Colorado researcher builds nest boxes to help increase American Kestrel population

North America’s smallest falcon is declining in population
Posted at 3:40 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 19:26:07-04

LOVELAND, Colo. -- Inside of Boyd Lake State Park, one man is building nest boxes.

Director of Colorado Avian Research and Rehabilitation Institute, Scott Rashid, says his goal is to reverse the declining population of the American Kestrel.

“They’re in decline throughout the country due to loss of habitat, loss of nesting sites, predation, disease, so we’re putting up nest boxes now, we have nest boxes from Arvada all the way up to the Wyoming border.”

Rashid says he’s been working with the kestrels for about 35 years.

Data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows kestrel population declines are nearing 50 percent in North America.

“They are diminutive, they are colorful, they are boisterous, they have a really great personality, the babies are just adorable when they’re little,” said Rashid.

The old nest box the current baby kestrels are living in is about five years old.

Rashid says the space is not big enough for them and that is one of the reasons why he is installing a new home for the birds.

He says the bigger space will allow the baby birds to stretch their wings while still being protected from the elements and under the watchful eyes of their parents.

“We are just a very small cod in the world we live in and as soon as you let anything within that cod fall apart or decline or become extinct, what’s going to stop you from letting everything else become extinct?"

Rashid also banded the birds so they will be able to be tracked in the future.

He says one of their biggest struggles is finding more places to put nest boxes. He believes not many people want to have predator birds near their homes.

However, Rashid says the work he is doing is one small step to help increase the American Kestrel population.