MASKS REQUIRED. Education building and herpetarium are closed. During the winter months animals may not be visible as they have access to holding areas.

American Kestrel Program

Amarillo Zoo’s American Kestrel Nest Box Partnership Program

Amarillo Zoo has joined other zoos and conservation organizations around the county to provide nesting boxes to land owners to help slow the decline of the American Kestrel.

What is the American Kestrel?

  1. The American Kestrel is a small species of falcon often seen around open prairie and agricultural lands.
  2. They are known for their ability to hover above the grasslands to watch for their prey.
  3. Kestrels prey consists of mice, small birds, mice and lizards.

Why is it important to help the American Kestrel?

  1. The Kestrel depends on dead tree cavities to nest and raise their young. Due to the loss of habitat, use of pesticides and competition from the European Starling for nest sites we’ve seen close to a 45% decline on the kestrel’s population nationwide.

How can I to get involved?

  1. The Amarillo Zoo is seeking property owners (it can be an individual, school, business or organization) who are willing to erect and monitor a kestrel nest box on their property.
  2. Interested individuals or groups must submit an application along with a digital photo of the property. The Zoo staff will review all applications to determine the suitability of the site. Follow up questions via phone call or an on-site visit may also occur.
  3. Applications and more information can be found on the Amarillo Zoo’s website at

Are there any requirements?

  1. Sites must be located in the Texas Panhandle
  2. Property must be in a rural area – open grasslands or agricultural.
  3. Nest boxes need to be mounted 10-30’ high either on a pole or side of building.
  4. Nest boxes must be monitored by the land owner for any nesting activity.
  5. You must submit a short quarterly email report to the Amarillo Zoo stating any observed nesting activity.

What happens once I am selected?

  1. Recipients of the kestrel nest box are asked to monitor their next box and report any nesting activity. Reporting forms will be supplied by the Zoo and can be submitted via email.

What happens if I no longer wish to participate in the program?

  1. If you elect to discontinue your involvement we ask that you return the Kestrel nest box to the Zoo so we may place it at a new location.

What if I have questions or problems?

  1. The Amarillo Zoo will provide you a booklet when you are selected that will help answer your questions. But, if you encounter a problem or situation that is not covered you can either call or email us and we’ll be happy to assist.

I have more questions - is there someone I can contact?

  1. Yes, feel free to call 806-381-7911 or email [email protected]

Download the Kestrel Nest Box Application

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The Amarillo Zoo is located in Thompson Park. Take Hwy 287 North off of I-40, take the N. 24th Ave. exit and go West, turn right into Thompson Park and follow the signs to the Zoo parking lot.

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