The American Kestrel is North America’s most common and widespread falcon but populations declined by about 50% between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimate the global breeding population to be 4 million. Current declines stem from continued clearing of land and the falling of the standing dead trees these birds depend on for their nest sites. The American Kestrel is also losing prey sources and nesting cavities to so-called “clean” farming practices, which remove hedgerows, trees, and brush. An additional threat is exposure to pesticides and other pollutants, which can reduce clutch sizes and hatching success. For kestrels in North America, a large problem with pesticides is that they destroy the insects, spiders, and other prey on which the birds depend.