Thursday, January 13, 2011

American Kestrels in NJ

American Kestrel eating a cricket "on the wing" 
photo via http://birdcapemay.org

The American Kestrel was a once-common inhabitant of fallow fields and pastures has declined in recent years, and the reasons are largely unknown. The Endangered and Nongame Species Program embarked on a survey campaign in 2004, and the findings were alarming. More detailed surveys and habitat evaluations were conducted in 2005, along with building a predictive habitat model.

Experiments with nest boxes are planned for 2006 to see if breeding success can be improved for this now scarce bird. 200 nest boxes will be constructed and installed throughout New Jersey. These boxes will be monitored during the breeding season by ENSP staff and/or volunteers.

Please report your sightings of this bird, especially in the breeding season (April – July) using the Sighting Report Form http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/ensp/rprtform.htm

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