American Kestrel Nest Boxes

Jim Armbruster, Health and Safety Officer, Research Coordinator

The VINS research staff are continuing our important work with American Kestrels in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Since 2021 we have monitored boxes, and banded nestlings in those boxes, with over 60 birds encountered to date. We are starting our 2023 season with over 100 boxes in our network across both states, and have already received reports of interested birds at several locations. We continue to work with landowners to help site and install boxes throughout the region and will have several new boxes set up before this breeding season, including all the new boxes we installed over the winter.

This year we plan to include adult birds in our banding efforts and will conduct roadside trapping near nest boxes in order to gather more information about the birds that might be using our boxes. We will include color bands on these birds to make re-sighting by landowners and staff easier. Color bands will also be attached to nestling birds to help track their dispersal.

While we have birds in hand we will gather morphometric measurements, and collect feathers to send to our partners at Middlebury College, who will analyze those feathers to assess mercury concentrations in our local birds.

We are also introducing a new option to our adoption program, where people can symbolically adopt an adult kestrel, a nestling kestrel, or a box within our network. They will receive updates throughout the breeding season and information on each individual they adopt, including band numbers and data collected during banding.

We greatly appreciate the support of our partner landowners, and the members of the public who have already adopted birds and boxes!

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