AKP Quarterly: Spring 2018
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American Kestrel Partnership Quarterly: Spring 2018

Protocol Reminder: Enter Data Soon After Collection

Your efforts as citizen scientists make kestrel observation and research possible at a continental scale. It is very important that the data being collected is uploaded in a timely manner. We urge our dedicated collaborators to put their data into the AKP website ( by the end of the summer. Please get in touch with us if you have lots of boxes and could use help entering your data. We appreciate the citizen scientists who work tirelessly to observe kestrels - thank you!
How to Enter Your Data

We would like to say a huge thank you to those of you who have contributed feather samples to the Full Cycle Phenology Project so far! We are so pleased with all of the data that has been collected already, and eager to keep expanding our network of collaborators.

As the 2018 breeding season is well underway, we wanted to remind people about the protocols regarding feather samples.

Collecting from unrelated individuals: 

  • If you have sent feathers in previous years, we ask that you do not send feathers from the same individual twice (i.e., if you recapture the same bird you sent feathers from last year, no need to collect feathers again)
  • Also, we are trying to get a large sample of unrelated individuals, so sampling one kestrel per nest box is perfect, no need to sample multiple nestlings per brood
  • Keep up with what we are doing on our blog:
  • All questions regarding feather collection for the project should be directed to
Full Cycle Phenology Blog
T-Shirt Fundraiser
Help Us Reach our Goal: Order Your Shirt Today!
The 2018 kestrel shirts are ready to order: Our goal this spring is to raise $5,000 and we ask for your help. One of the greatest parts about the American Kestrel is that people in many places in both North and South America can see them. We wanted to showcase the many names that people call or have called these falcons. These shirts let you support kestrel conservation and look fantastic doing it!

You only have 9 days left to get your shirt - sales end on June 15: Order today!

Partner Spotlight Jessica Schlarbaum

Jessica Schlarbaum, a graduate student of Avian Sciences at University of California, Davis has been working hard to put up a total of 76 nest boxes.

Jessica realized how passionate she was about kestrels when she worked for four years at the California Raptor Center. "We had a permanent female kestrel who was feisty and many volunteers didn't like to put up with her stubbornness, but it was what drew me to the species. They have so much tenacity and strength in such a small package!”

Kestrel nest box research is crucial to understanding what is happening with the kestrel populations across the continent. According to Jessica, “Here in the Central Valley, there is so much unknown about kestrel populations. With such a huge population here, it is important to know what the populations are doing and if they are comparable to studies elsewhere. Nest boxes are helping me collect this information, as natural cavities are very rare and hard to find.”

For her graduate research, Jessica will be looking into nest site preference in relation to vegetation cover and proximity to grasslands. She will also be analyzing provisioning rate and chick growth. Another study that Jessica hopes to gain funding for is an off-road vehicle disturbance study, which will be conducted by analyzing corticosterone (a stress hormone) deposition in feathers of nestlings during development at differing distances from off-road vehicle trails at Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area. During all of this, she will be analyzing some of the data that the AKP has collected over the past few years.
Even though Jessica has much work to do, she is excited for the future and what it will hold for kestrel research. “I hope that more citizen scientists and farmers get involved in kestrel research. My project works with farmers using barn owls as pest control with hopes that kestrels will be an effective method of pest control as well. This is incredibly important in areas such as the Central Valley where native kestrel habitat has been wiped out by agriculture. If we are able to get farmers on board with nest box projects, this loss of habitat might not be a problem anymore! I also hope that citizen scientists get more involved by inputting data through the AKP for researchers like myself to analyze and document any noticeable trends.”

Thanks for your hard work and dedication to kestrel research, Jessica!
AKP on the Radar
Director of the American Kestrel Partnership, Dr. Sarah Schulwitz, was featured on the podcast All Creatures to share information about the American Kestrel decline and how The Peregrine Fund is partnering with scientists and citizen scientists hemisphere-wide to discover what is causing the decline of this species. See more of AKP in the news here.
All Creatures Podcast: American Kestrels
Enter your kestrel photos: Raptors at Risk Photo Exhibition

Raptors at Risk is the only international, juried photography exhibition focused exclusively on birds of prey. Entrants can win prizes up to $500 in each category, and the most compelling photo will win the Raptors at Risk Prize: your photo on the cover of The Peregrine Fund's 2019 calendar and high-end binoculars from Vortex Optics!

Check out our website today to learn more about this juried competition, the judges, rules for entry, photos from last year’s event, and more. Start looking through your photos today and send them in now through June 10 for your chance to have your best shots recognized! Visit the Raptors at Risk webpage at:

We are also excited to have our photography competition guru and volunteer, Jim Shane, featured in a recent North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) blog! You can read the story Jim wrote and check out some of his incredible kestrel photos on NANPA’s website

You may have noticed that the KestrelCam isn't running this year. We had an interested pair, however we spotted a feral cat nearby that may have spooked them away. It's unfortunate, but we will keep our fingers crossed for next year! Now's a good time to remind folks to keep your pet cats indoors! In case you need your KestrelCam fix, the video below gives you a glimpse of last year's KestrelCam chicks as they were hatching and learning to survive in the nest with gifts from Mom and Dad. Enjoy!
The 2017 KestrelCam video showing four hatchlings as they emerge from their eggs.
Many thanks and keep on kestreling!

With best wishes,
AKP Staff and Interns
Copyright © 2018 The Peregrine Fund, All rights reserved.

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