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Kestrels, other urban birds are stressed by human activity


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American kestrels, small colorful falcons often seen perched along roadways, are abundant in urban and agricultural areas. Shorter grass makes insects, snakes, mice and other prey more visible, and signposts, fences and telephone poles provide excellent perches. However a new study shows that even species considered “tolerant” of human activity may be adversely impacted by human disturbance; Kestrels nesting in close proximity to roads and developed areas had elevated stress hormones and high rates of nest abandonment. The apparently favorable location, then, becomes an ecological trap.aIy8b5iYOlk

 

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