Tag Archives: birds

True North Kestrel American IPA can art 2022

Another 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 once again 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 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 Kestrel American IPA can art 2022

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!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Feeding Birds

Feeding birds is a fun and easy activity for people of all ages. If you’re new to bird feeding or looking to up your game, keep reading to learn some tips and tricks about safely feeding your neighborhood birds!

Eastern Bluebird sitting on metal pole looking at a metal bird
Eastern Bluebird


Do research on what type of seed to get. Different birds prefer different types of seed, however, black oil sunflower seeds appear to be the favorite for most bird species.


Don’t feed birds processed foods like bread or crackers. When birds snack on these kinds of food, they can fill up without getting any nutrition. It’s important that they eat natural foods that provide them the right nutrients to keep them healthy.

Blue Jay eating seed
Blue Jay © Jonathan Model


Do regularly clean your bird feeder. Lots of birds clustered around a feeder can contribute to the spread of disease, so it’s important to clean every two weeks. If you notice a sick bird, take down the feeder for at least two weeks to prevent other birds from being contaminated. Areas underneath should be raked periodically to remove hulls and uneaten seeds.


Don’t store your bird seed in hot, moist areas prone to rodents. Aluminum trash cans with tight-fitting lids are ideal rodent-proof containers for seeds.

Two American Goldfinches on a bird feeder
American Goldfinches


Do plan out where you will place your bird feeder. Birds often look for feeders near trees or shrubs to protect them from predators. You also don’t want it to be too close to trees where a squirrel can jump onto the feeder. Placing your feeder 10-15 feet away from trees and shrubs should provide the right balance!


Don’t forget to take your bird feeder in if you live in an area with black bear activity. For many communities in central and western Massachusetts, it may be a good idea to remove your bird feeder between the months of March and November, when black bears are out and about. Some bears remain active in winter if food is available, so keep an eye out for signs of a bear in your area.

Ready to get started? Stock up on your bird feeding supplies at the Mass Audubon Shop!