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BY LAEL HINES | To help provide a safe urban habitat for American kestrels, Hudson River Park has partnered with the New York City Audubon Society to create new “kestrel condos.”
The American kestrel, also known as the sparrow hawk, is a small northern falcon with orange and gray plumage and two black stripes on either side of its head. Due to deforestation throughout North America, the bird’s habitat — typically, nooks in trees — has deteriorated. Kestrels eat grasshoppers and dragonflies, sometimes mice and even smaller birds.
The Hudson River Park Trust is trying to help the kestrel rebound locally by installing several nesting boxes in the waterfront park.
Carrie Roble, the Trust’s director of environmental education and stewardship, explained, “The nesting boxes are a great joint first effort between Hudson River Park and the New York City Audubon Society in supporting urban kestrel populations and getting park users to look up and realize that there are predatory birds thriving in the park. Hudson River Park hopes that the three recently installed nesting boxes within our borders will encourage American kestrels to claim the park as their home.”