Re: [BirdYak] Kestrels & Starlings
- One journal paper I have found that avian prey made up the greatest biomass of
American Kestrel diets during the breeding season along the Lost River, in
Idaho. Now, greater biomass doesn't necessarily mean more in terms of
individual prey items. Most of the avian prey delivered to the nests were
juvenile/recently fledged Western Meadowlarks and European Starlings along with
30 other unidentified birds. Even the remains of one Northern Flicker were
found at one nest. Most studies however find that their normal prey are
comprised of small mammals (deer mice, voles, chipmunks, etc,), lizards, and
insects. However, as this study shows, kestrels, like most birds of prey, are
opportunistic and probably take prey that is most available to them,
particularly recently fledged birds that are easy prey.
My opinion on them being effective at controlling birds in orchards is suspect.
Getting Merlins or Sharp-shinned Hawks to nest in orchards would be a different
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