Drew McQuade of the NJSEA’s Natural Resources Department was busy this morning installing a Kestrel Box in Harrier Meadow in North Arlington. Drew helped provide us with some background info on Kestrels:
American Kestrels, the smallest and most colorful falcons in North America, inhabit the Meadowlands region year round, but are most abundant in the Spring and Fall. Nesting season begins in late April, with young birds leaving the nest as early as a month after fledging. In the late Spring, most Kestrels will migrate South, while some will continue to stay in the region.
In February 2012, the American Kestrel became listed as a New Jersey threatened species. Like many birds of prey, Kestrels have been losing their habitat and nesting cavities to development. American Kestrels cannot create their own nesting cavities, and must rely on either those that exist naturally, or man-made nest boxes.
American Kestrels are easily distinguished by their most typical hunting behavior where birds hover at a height of around 35 to 65 feet and swoop down on insects and other small prey
The NJSEA will be installing additional Kestrel boxes in the coming weeks.
There’s a chance you could see a Kestrel during this Sunday’s (Dec. 6) guided nature walk led by the Bergen County Audubon Society. The free walk along Disposal Road in Lyndhurst meets in the Meadowwlands Environment Center parking lot in DeKorte Park, which is adjacent to Disposal Road. The walk takes place from 10 am to noon. Disposal Road is a great place for viewing raptors, including Kestrels, hawks and more. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-230-4983.