The Nature Conservancy in Utah

Watch Kestrels at the Great Salt Lake

The American kestrel is the smallest and most common falcon in North America.
American kestrel The American kestrel is the smallest and most common falcon in North America. © Shutterstock

Kestrel Nest Cam 2020: Season Three

Spring is fast approaching and with it comes kestrels nesting in our nest box! We are eagerly awaiting their return and will be sure to update everyone on social and on this webpage once we confirm sightings. We expect the birds to return sometime around mid-March.
While you are waiting, we've compiled a highlight video of season two to hold you over. View it below. 

Learn more about the life and death drama of kestrels at our preserve.

Highlights from Season 2 Missed the second season of our kestrel nest cam? Watch this highlight reel to see the kestrel's amazing lifecycle.

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Kestrel History at the Great Salt Lake

For the past eight years, American kestrels have visited the nest box at The Nature Conservancy’s preserve near the Great Salt Lake. Though fairly common across North America, in recent years scientists have reported declines in American kestrel populations. For that reason, kestrels are a welcome sight at the Great Salt Lake and their presence is a strong indicator of the overall health of the surrounding wetland ecosystem.

This nestbox is one of 25 on TNC lands along the Great Salt Lake Shoreline. We partner with HawkWatch International (HWI), whose army of citizen scientists monitor these boxes along with 400+ others in Northern Utah each spring, and have done so since 2013. Our goal is to understand nesting success and survival of kestrels along an urban gradient. HWI scientists also band adult and nestling kestrels to better understand movement, survival, and seasonal population turnover. To learn more visit:

American Kestrel
American Kestrel American Kestrel © Courtney Celley/USFWS

The Nature Conservancy's Role

The Nature Conservancy and its partners are working to protect wetlands along the Great Salt Lake, one of the western hemisphere’s most important stopovers for migrating birds, including American kestrels. Our Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve is a unique system of salt and fresh water marshes, ponds, pools, sloughs and mudflats, providing a rich feeding ground for tens of thousands of migrating birds each year. By improving conditions at the Great Salt Lake, the Nature Conservancy in Utah helps protect nature for kestrels and other wildlife that are indicators of environmental health.