JUNO BEACH, Fla., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After Florida Power & Light Company installed new, more storm-resilient power line poles in the Duette Preserve in Manatee County, the company preserved nests for the Southeastern American Kestrel, and provided additional nesting options for the threatened bird. The Southeastern American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in the United States.
Last month, FPL crews moved four wooden poles in the preserve, located at 2649 Rawls Road in Duette, to save inactive nests that kestrels already built into the poles. In addition, FPL installed kestrel boxes on the new poles to provide additional nesting options, which is a first for the company. Four additional wooden poles, which contained active kestrel nests, will be moved later this year.The project, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is part of the company's initiative to enhance service reliability to area customers in Manatee County, while demonstrating its concern and commitment to the environment and local wildlife. "With FPL's donation of the poles and nest boxes, the county will be able to retain the existing nesting cavities and help our only resident kestrel species flourish," said Manatee County Natural Resources Department Manager Max Dersch. "Duette Preserve has been a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail since 2003. This effort by FPL and the county's planting of nearly 2 million trees in the past 12 years will ensure we maintain a beautiful preserve for the public, kestrels and other wildlife to enjoy." The Southeastern American Kestrel's population is in decline due to a lack of nesting and foraging habitat. The 21,000 acres of Duette Preserve offers high quality foraging habitat for the non-migratory kestrel.