American Kestrel © Mass Audubon

A Toast to the American Kestrel

American Kestrels are charismatic and iconic. They are also experiencing widespread declines. To help raise awareness, support, and celebrate this small but mighty falcon, Mass Audubon is collaborating with True North Ale Company of Ipswich, MA, on the release of Kestrel, a limited-edition American IPA.

American Kestrel © Mass Audubon

About American Kestrels

A few decades ago, American Kestrels could be seen hovering and dropping on their prey in just about every open field of sufficient size in Massachusetts. These days, however, our smallest falcon is becoming harder and harder to find and, as a result, is included as a Species of Greatest Conservation Concern in the wildlife action plans of all six New England states. 

Mass Audubon is expanding the grassland habitat at many wildlife sanctuaries to support kestrels and other grassland birds. For example, just five miles from True North Ale Company (as the kestrel flies), Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield has added additional acreage of open fields and a nest box for kestrels over the last few years, in the hope that more habitat will help boost the birds’ numbers.

American Kestrel © Brian Rusnica
American Kestrel © Brian Rusnica

Where to Find Kestrels and the Kestrel IPA

Kestrels are birds of open fields and meadows. One can be seen perching on a fencepost or snag, bobbing its tail as it surveys its surrounding. When a good perch is not available, it hunts from the air, hovering in place in a technique called “kiting.” 

Perhaps easier to find, the Kestrel American IPA will be widely available in select stores across the state (including Trader Joe’s and Total Wine & Spirits) as well as several restaurants. Better yet, sample the ale at the source at the True North Ale Company taproom in Ipswich, MA.

True North Ale Company - Kestrel American IPA

You can also support our habitat preservation and restoration work by making a donation today.

Together, we can shape the future of our state’s landscape to support all the wildlife and people that call it home. And that’s a dream we’ll drink to!

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About Ryan D.

Where: Mass Audubon Headquarters, Lincoln | Who: A Vermont ex-pat, lifelong skier, musician, photographer, motorcycle enthusiast, budding native plant gardener, and pun master | Favorite part of the job: Working with wonderful colleagues to make nature accessible to everyone

6 thoughts on “A Toast to the American Kestrel

  1. Steven Fellows

    Delicious way to support a beautiful bird. Crisp and fast just like the bird with a handsome can to boot. Great way to bring awareness about needed protection of a bird in trouble!!

  2. Brian

    Julianne is missing the point I feel by attacking Audubon’s efforts to spread awareness of the plight of the Kestrel. She may be well meaning but definitely a bit “overboard” in her message (in this sailors humble opinion). Keep up the good work Audubon.

  3. Julianne Mehegan

    Shame on Mass Audubon! Selling beer with a Kestral on the can to raise money is bad for the environment.

    Despite there being substantial improvements over the years, water consumption and wastewater disposal continue to create environmental hurdles that directly impact breweries and the brewing process. This is because the brewing process is extremely energy intensive, and uses substantial volumes of water.
    As water scarcity intensifies throughout the world, stable water supplies for businesses such as breweries decrease. This is a particularly critical issue for breweries located in already water-stressed areas. At the same time, beer making relies heavily on agriculture (as its main ingredients are hops, barley and yeast). These key ingredients are sensitive to subtle changes in temperature, which can limit the ability to deliver produce of consistent quality and quantities.

    1. Ryan D. Post author

      Hi Julianne: Thank you for your comment and for engaging with our work. We understand your concerns about water usage and wastewater production and want you to know we take these issues very seriously. True North Ale Company also takes these issues very seriously and works closely with the Town of Ipswich Water Department in monitoring both water usage and wastewater production and follows the guidance of their industry’s trade association, the Brewers Association, to minimize both in their production process. In light of the Ipswich River’s recent designation as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, True North has also entered into active collaboration with the Ipswich River Watershed Association (IRWA) on several initiatives, including one to raise funds for the IRWA’s important work, as well as a larger collaborative effort that is still in the planning stages to include the Mystic River and Charles River Watershed Associations. The latter will engage several local breweries in a friendly competitive challenge to raise awareness and support for the watershed associations. And, of course, True North’s partnership with Mass Audubon also supports our work to protect our lands, rivers, and watersheds throughout Massachusetts and allows us to reach new audiences so we can connect more people to nature and engage them in efforts to protect it.

  4. Braqin Kelly

    Use to see 2-3 kestrels kiting daily at fields at Fort Hill in Eastham 40 years ago….long gone

  5. Emily Curewitz

    I have seen them in Westboro Wildlife Management Area and Wachusett Reservoir this year

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