Thursday, October 29, 2015

American Kestrels Return To Stroud Preserve In Chester County

By offering protected nesting space at Stroud Preserve, Natural Lands Trust has given American Kestrels a reason to return to West Chester in Chester County.
This past spring, Stroud Preserve Manager Mike Coll made the decision to close the walking trail through Bobolink Meadow during bird breeding season (April – August).
This meant that the Bobolink Meadow was reserved for the breeding of sensitive bird species, including the Bobolinks, which are ground-nesting birds that can be easily disturbed by humans or dogs.
Closing this trail also gave the American Kestrel an opportunity to reproduce in a nesting box installed on the preserve.
Counts of migrant American Kestrels suggest declining numbers in the northeast, making conservation efforts in this region critical.
American Kestrels generally nest in open areas, and as development moves in, the Kestrel moves out. Permanently protected land like Stroud Preserve—one of 42 nature preserves owned and managed by Natural Lands Trust—provide an essential habitat for Kestrels and help stabilize their population.
Preserve Manager Mike Coll said “Kestrels are easily disturbed by humans and, although a box had been present at Stroud for a number of years, I had never observed Kestrels nesting there until this year. The trail previously came almost directly beneath the box and it’s likely that this was the reason they hadn’t used it.”
You can view a Natural Lands Trust video of the birds in the nest online.
For more information on events, programs and initiatives, visit the Natural Lands Trust website.  Click Here to sign up for NLT activities.

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