KOFO Local News

These falcons to fly over, not roll along, county roads

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on October 21, 2014

OTTAWA — If the Franklin County commissioners give their OK, these falcons won’t be rolling on county roads but flying above them. Baker University biology professor Scott Kimball has asked the county permission to install approximately 15 nesting boxes, 18 inches tall, by 15 inches wide, to 10 inches deep, to the back of county road signs along lesser-traveled roads. The boxes would house pairs of American Kestrels and their chicks. The effort would be part of a biology field project for Baker students, he said. Kestrels have been declining in numbers in the U.S. and the nesting boxes replicate the cavities in trees usually favored by the pint-sized raptors, he said. Kestrels are among the smallest falcons and are the size of large bluejays. The idea has been tried elsewhere with great success and appear to have stabilized kestrels’ populations, he said. Because of the males’ red heads and bodies and blue wings, they’re popular among bird watchers, he said. Although they might scream and circle if humans approach boxes with chickes, the kestrels aren’t aggressive towards humans, he said. In fact, they’re good neighbors, eating insects, rodents and smaller birds. Commissioners said they would consider the idea.
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 6 p.m.

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