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American Kestrels: Fighter Jets of the Sky

Kestrels are the smallest falcon and were once common in New England. In recent years, they have become much rarer due to the lack of open space.

Falcons are characterized by long wings and tails, which have evolved for maximizing speed during flight and vertical dives for catching prey. Since kestrels are the only falcon that will nest in boxes, the Wachusett Meadow Audubon has strategically placed several nesting boxes for these “fighter jets” of the sky.

During a recent visit, I saw my first kestrel. It was perched at the very top of an evergreen, where it was surveying the entire environment around its nesting box. The Audubon has rerouted nearby trails in an effort to protect these rare birds. I look forward to seeing kestrel babies soon!

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The Massachusetts Audubon keeps statistics on the American Kestrel. You can report a Kestrel sighting here.


About the author jmankowsky

This photo blog features the seasonal changes in nature observed in my own backyard and a variety of local environments. The Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary in Princeton, MA is often highlighted as a model for the positive effects a small nature preserve can have on the larger environment and the local community. Local sites of historical, cultural and recreational interest are spotlighted as well. All photographs were taken by me. Thank you so much for visiting.

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