Term of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

John Parrish

Committee Member 1

William Irby

Committee Member 2

Steven Vives


In order to establish baseline data concerning the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) in south Georgia, 400 nest boxes were erected in south Georgia. We studied the use of American Kestrel nest boxes by American Kestrels and other secondary cavity nesters in south Georgia during 1994 and 1995. All nest boxes were placed in areas perceived to be suitable nesting sites below the Fall Line in Georgia. Eleven species of secondary cavity nesting birds and three non-avian species used the nest boxes during the two-year study. European Starlings (Stumus vulgaris) nested in an average of 41.5 % of the nest boxes available in a given year. Nest box occupancy by kestrels averaged 3.5 % and clutch size averaged 4.9 over the two years of the study. Kestrels nested in significantly (p < 0.05) more boxes within Fort Gordon military base than they did in all other areas of the state during both years in spite of the fact that less than 20 % of the boxes were located inside the base. Fifty-two kestrels fledged from nest boxes within Fort Gordon whereas only four kestrels fledged from nest boxes placed in other areas of the coastal plain. Reproductive success was similar to kestrels nesting in nest boxes in other areas of North America, although nest box occupancy was less than previously reported. The small size and apparent resident status of the kestrels in this study imply that F.s. paulus is the subspecies of American Kestrel breeding below the Fall Line in Georgia.

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