An $11 million renovation of historic buildings in Cleveland, Ohio, is on hold because a pair of American Kestrels nested in a soffit on one of the buildings. The construction firm Snavely Group decided to delay the project for two months while the birds raise their young. The kestrels laid five eggs, which hatched around May 10.
The Cleveland Metroparks and Ohio Division of Wildlife have been on site to advise. The nest is the first for kestrels in Cleveland in at least five years, a spokesperson said.
“We are very fortunate,” the Snavely Group said in a statement. “Kestrels are mostly found in rural areas as they enjoy open fields for hunting. For the Snavely Group to be blessed with these little ones is incredible.”
The company set up a webcam (below) so the public can keep an eye on the nest. The young birds are expected to be banded this week.
As we noted in a 2017 article, the kestrel population has dropped by nearly 50 percent across North America since 1966. The decline has been most dramatic in New England and the mid-Atlantic region, where the species is down 88 percent.
Recovery efforts are being led by the Peregrine Fund’s American Kestrel Partnership.
When work resumes on the building restoration, workers will aim to make the buildings among the greenest in the city; 75 percent of the energy is to be generated by solar power.