CBP is the proud host of a new nest site with the American Kestrel Partnership. Kestrels are the smallest falcon native to North America and have suffered from population decline for decades. For reproduction, they can't make their own nests and are dependent on existing cavities in areas of wide open undisturbed terrain. The American Kestrel Partnership is monitoring data from contributing nest boxes, in the hopes of better understanding the factors contributing to the decline of this wild predator.
Much of the literature and media you see about natural burial suggests forests and trees are the primary beneficiaries of conservation management and the decision to nourish the earth with your remains. The kestrel is a great reminder that wide open space and undisturbed shortgrass prairie are also critical resources in the race to protect the environment.
The kestrel nesting site is not the same as our memorial bird box, which is sized and mounted on a post at a height for bluebirds. Because of the spacing requirements for nesting conditions, we will only be able to install the customized boxes on a few certain plots in different sections of the cemetery. All of the potential bird box gravesites are way over the hill and out of sight from the kestrel nest (to discourage predation). Colorado is potentially home to all three species of North American bluebird, and they are dependent on found cavities for nesting, too. Decades of research on bluebirds has shown an improvement in their conservation status, thanks in no small part to the popularity of songbird nest box installation.