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Volunteers Needed! Help Conserve Our Local Kestrels

Please read this post and contact Mark Burns at if you are interested in helping out!

According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, American Kestrel populations have declined by an estimated 1.41% per year for a cumulative decline of about 53% between 1966 and 2019. If current trends continue, American Kestrels will lose another 50% of their population by 2075. Current declines stem from continued clearing of land and felling of the standing dead trees these birds depend on for their nest sites.

Northern Shenandoah Valley Audubon is supporting Bob Dean's effort to provide safe nesting boxes for Kestrels in Clarke and Frederick Counties. Bob has installed 42 nesting boxes and is asking for volunteers to serve as monitors. Monitors would help gather important temporal benchmarks as clutch initiation and hatching might be more effectively recorded and nestlings banded more efficiently. Box monitoring would begin about April and continue into late June, but would only require about 2-4 visits to each box, mostly in the early part of the season. June visits would be for nests with a late initiation date, mostly second efforts. Once an accurate date is recorded for egg laying or hatching the monitor’s job is complete, although more involvement would be welcome. For example, monitors would be encouraged to visit boxes with Bob for the purpose of banding adults and/or young, and to make additional visits to enhance their understanding of the entire nesting process. Training will be provided.

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