American Kestrel Research Updates From the Field – 2022 Season Wrap Up

Jim Armbruster – Field Research Coordinator

Our kestrel monitoring season is winding down and we are just waiting on a few boxes to fledge at this point. We have banded all the nestlings in our network and finished the season with a total of 33 chicks banded, up from 29 last season.

Our network now has a total of 80 boxes throughout Vermont and New Hampshire with a majority on private land. Of those 80 boxes only ten were used, and of those ten, only seven were successful. Several locations had confirmed nesting nearby and the hope is that in the future they will choose a box. Unfortunately some of the boxes installed by landowners are not in kestrel habitat and may never be used.

A box on private property in Vershire
A kestrel nestling from a box in Vershire*

Between monitoring and banding we were able to expand our network to include more locations in ideal kestrel habitat, most with confirmed sightings and nesting behavior. We hope next year we can increase the number of birds banded and to include adults in our monitoring. We are always looking for new locations to add boxes and will continue to install through the fall. If you have kestrels on your property or know of a location that could use a box be sure to let us know.

Kestrel nestlings observed during a monitoring visit at Windsor Grasslands WMA
An older female nestling from a box on Windsor Grasslands WMA*
An older male nestling form a box on Windsor Grasslands WMA*
Blood was drawn from nestlings to send to the American Kestrel Partnership to test for agricultural contaminants.*
Close up of a banded nestling*
Kestrels returned to their box after banding at Windsor Grasslands WMA
Kestrel nestlings between banding
Close up of a nestling from a box in Norwich*
Nestling banded from a box in Lebanon*
Nestling returned to box after banding*

*Precautions were taken to reduce the transmission of HPAI including hand sanitation and decontamination of equipment

Summary of the 2022 Monitoring Season

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