American Kestrel Nest Box Research
I initiated an American kestrel nest box program six years ago located on both farmland and ranch land on Judah Hill near Peace River, Alberta. The program goal was to increase the local population after steep declines in a heavily farmed area. Local ranchers have said the population peaked in the 70's and 80's and then declined to one or two pairs prior to the nest box program.
The program has since been successful with twelve of the approximately thirteen territories being used during the summer of 2017 in the heart of program where it all started on Judah Hill. The local area where the boxes are installed has increased the population back to the peak levels.
I have initiated widening the program to include approximately 75 new locations within the Northern Sunrise County and 200 locations across the province of Alberta for the spring of 2018. The areas located within Alberta include the northern portions of Alberta down through the west central part of the province into southern AB.
American Kestrel Photo Gallery
About to band kestrel chicks.
Chicks are within a couple days of fledging
The eastern slopes and east central portions of the province would be expanded into the following year (2019) assuming funding is obtained.
If you are willing to join the program please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your land location and we can work on getting you a kestrel nest box to install (check under the Kestrel Nest Box Program or Wildlife Boxes - American Kestrel for details on installation).
This program is contributing to the American Kestrel Genoscape project that is currently ongoing (https://fullcyclephenology.com) and has submitted samples from the Peace Region for the summer of 2017. The AB American Kestrel Nest Box Program will continue to submit samples (with plans to expand to areas throughout Alberta) in the summer of 2018 & 2019).
I have applied for some funding to start a nest box camera diet study of the kestrels with the goal to determine the diet composition of kestrels throughout the various locations in Alberta during breeding season. This would provide details on what kestrels are eating while raising young in the various locations throughout Alberta where I suspect they are eating a large portion of voles and grasshoppers in comparison to other prey species.
Further research opportunities may be available for anyone who is interested and the program can be contacted by email at email@example.com.