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Thursday, May 17, 2018


Small raptors called American kestrels provide important 'ecosystem services'
A male kestrel perched on a human hand.
A male kestrel in a northern Michigan cherry orchard. Males have gray wings; females, rusty wings.

May 15, 2018
Find related stories on NSF's Environmental Research and Education (ERE) programswebpage.
America's smallest raptor, the American kestrel, can boost economies in Michigan and other fruit-growing states, new research shows. It's the first study to measure regional job creation aided by the activity of native predators.
American kestrels range from Alaska to South America. They dine on bugs, small mammals and fruit-eating birds. More kestrels mean fewer pests, and the tiny hawks' mere presence can produce measurable improvements, said Catherine Lindell, a Michigan State University (MSU) integrative biologist and study co-author. Growers can attract more of these beneficial birds by building nesting boxes.
A paper reporting the results was published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

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