American Kestrel Fights an Invasive European Starling for Nestbox

Bosch Video system provided by Bosch
and Matt Thomas of New/Era Sales, Inc.
Additional support provided by: Intermountain Bird Observatory Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game

In early March, American Kestrels weren’t the only birds interested in our kestrel nestbox! Invasive European Starlings were also poking into the box to use as a potential nest site—even removing the wood shavings and filling it with their own nest material. Starlings are known for taking over kestrel boxes, and they are considered a pest species.

On the evening of April 1st, 2014 - A female kestrel entered the box and found it already occupied by a starling! The resulting epic showdown was captured by our camera.

Although it has been assumed that kestrels could evict starlings from a nest cavity, this is the first time it was actually recorded! In the end the kestrels won, and now there are five kestrel chicks in our nestbox.