Kestrel breeding season in nesting boxes in 2015
About the half the planned nesting boxes planned while implementing the project action “Installation of the bird protection measures on the high voltage electricity transmission grid in Lithuania” (LIFE13 BIO / E / 001303) were erected on the high-voltage poles in the Western Lithuania. This year birds have not occupied the new nesting boxes yet, as they were erected late in the season, when kestrels had already chosen their breeding places or had been incubating clutches.
Due to initiative of the Lithuanian Ornithological Society and the Klaipeda University, kestrel nesting boxes were erected four years ago in Western Lithuania, and were successfully used by birds year by year providing useful information for future actions. Nesting boxes were erected on isolated trees or on the buildings in the city of Klaipeda or nearby. Although this summer was very dry and relatively cold, it looks like the kestrel brood size were not affected by climatic conditions. This year Kestrels raised record size of broods. One couple, located on the Klaipėda University building, successfully raised seven chicks. On the same building another pair raised three cubs. Nests on isolated trees also had successful broods: two pairs hatched and raised 6 juveniles, two more pairs had broods of 5 juveniles. All juveniles were ringed at the age of 2-3 weeks.
Currently, in the coastal region, apart from the above-mentioned nest boxes on a high voltage line poles erected implementing the Project actions, another 20 are raised in other locations: 16 nest boxes are on single field trees, and four nesting boxes are installed on various buildings in Klaipeda. Each year, more and more couples occupy previously unused nesting-boxes so we find one or two new nesting pairs each year. It was noticed that the birds occupy nest boxes in urban areas raised on tall buildings very soon, meanwhile nest boxes outside the city are not so popular. Sometimes the nest boxes attract residents only several years after their erection.
As the project continues, the number of erected nest boxes for kestrels on the high-voltage line poles throughout Lithuania grows rapidly. The first nesting boxes were erected in the middle of spring 2015. So far, only sporadic birds have occupiedthem: two in Vilnius and one in Alytus districts. In the coming year we expect more "settlers", as by the beginning of Kestrel’s breeding season at least the 150 new nesting boxes should be erected.
Projektą „Paukščių apsaugos priemonių įdiegimas Lietuvos aukštos įtampos elektros energijos perdavimo tinkluose“ (LIFE13 BIO/LT/001303) finansuoja Europos Sąjungos aplinkos finansinis mechanizmas „LIFE+“, LR Aplinkos ministerija ir projekto partneriai. Projekto pradžia – 2014 m. birželis, planuojama pabaiga – 2018 m. liepa.