If you're a long time follower of our exploits here at Three Springs Fruit Farm, you know we're Bird Nerds from way back. That's why we were thrilled when we learned about Hawk Mountain Sanctuary's Farmland Raptor Project. What could be cooler than controlling harmful rodents holistically and increasing the biodiversity of our agroecosystem? Watching these guys in action, that's what! They're graceful, tactical, and beautiful and I love having them on the farm. For two out of three years now since we first put up our Raptor Project nesting boxes, we've had nesting pairs (yes, two pairs one year) of Merlins on our property. The alternative, if we didn't have these birds occupying this rodent-heavy area, would be rodent poison that could put turkeys and predators at risk. And while the conservationalist in me would rather they be Kestrels, a more threatened species, we're more than happy to have our boxes occupied by these incredible rodent control agents. For what it's worth, we HAVE seen a Northern Harrier here on the farm, just this past springtime so we're happy to see some of these threatened, graceful hunters return to Northern Adams County.