American kestrels or "sparrow hawks" can help control starlings, blackbirds and sparrows on your dairy operation.

The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine recommends these practices to attract American kestrels to your facilities:

1. Install a nest box and perches.

2. Line the nest with wood chips or coarse wood shavings because a kestrel will not line its own nest.

3. Place the nest away from obstructions and regular human and equipment activity, but place it where you can observe the nest and maintain it periodically.

4. Be patient. It may take a year or two to attract a nesting pair of kestrels.

For more information about kestrels, visit the Raptor Center's Web site located at: