Saving American Kestrels

Feb 5th, 2018
2018 is LDV Winery’s 10th year since we planted wine grapes. From our first day, we have been committed to treading lightly on our land. Our number one priority is to preserve our special environment in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills.

This month, we are excited to continue our sustainability efforts with the installation of LDV’s first American Kestrel Nest Box.

Bird house at the LDV Vineyard

LDV Winery is working with the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s research and conservation program called the American Kestrel Partnership which is coordinated nationally by The Peregrine Fund. This partnership was formed in response to indications of declining kestrel populations across many regions of North America, including Arizona. LDV Winery is providing a breeding habitat for these charismatic cavity nesters while collecting valuable information to aid management decisions.

According to Arizona Game and Fish Department, the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is North America’s smallest and most colorful falcon. Although it is only the size of a mourning dove, it’s full of ferocity. It eats insects, small rodents, reptiles, and birds. American Kestrels can be found from Alaska to South America and prefer habitats with short ground vegetation and sparse obstructions. In Arizona, the falcon typically lays four to five eggs between March and August.

The American Kestrel nesting box was installed the first week in February just in time to attract kestrels for mating season. LDV Winery hopes that they will play a role in managing insects and rodents in the vineyard, orchard, and rose garden. Plus, we love bird watching anyway. Male kestrels have a slate blue head and wings with a warm, rusty brown back and solid tail. Females have a rusty brown head, back, wings, and barred tail. Their call is a shrill klee-klee-klee or killy-killy-killy. We will keep you up-to-date on the progress of our American Kestrel program.

Later this spring, we will also be installing an owl house in the vineyard along with several bluebird houses. Along with the many hummingbird species we attract, we are becoming a destination for bird watching as well as wine tasting. Contact us if you would like to plan a trip.