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Volunteers Build and Monitor Nest Boxes for Kestrels

Endangered Falcons Require Support

 

Last updated 3/2/2022 at 10:01am

The American Kestrel

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) volunteer program helps Floridians get directly involved with conservation and restoration projects across the state. Last year, over 1,000 volunteers put in over 60,000 hours to advance FWC's mission.

One important project that could not have gotten off the ground without the help of dedicated volunteers is the Kestrel Nest Box Monitoring Program, which has collected data essential to efforts to protect these birds.

Volunteers John Trupe and Dan Rieck use a peeper scope to monitor Southeastern American Kestrel nest boxes in Marion County.

Like many bird species, the Southeastern American Kestrel has seen significant population declines due to habitat fragmentation and degradation. Only an estimated 1,350 – 1,500 breeding pairs remain in Florida. These small birds of prey are cavity nesters, meaning that they need a protected space to nest and roost. Since they cannot excavate holes themselves, they rely on naturally occurring cavities or those abandoned by woodpeckers. Luckily, kestrels also take readily to human-made nest boxes.

Volunteers annually monitor up to 200 kestrel nest boxes, collecting data on nest box occupancy and productivity. This information allows scientists to determine the best nest box locations and conditions to maximize use by kestrels.

A huge thanks to all our FWC volunteers who make this ongoing project possible! For more information, you can read the full report on the nest box program online.

 

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