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AKP Quarterly: Summer/Fall 2020

American Kestrel Partnership Quarterly: Summer/Fall 2020

AKP’s 2020 Fundraiser is Now Underway!
Want to be the best-dressed attendee at your next Zoom meeting or socially-distanced backyard barbecue? We’ve got you covered. The American Kestrel Partnership’s 2020 fundraising campaign is now underway!
Items for sale this year include short and long-sleeve t-shirts, a hooded sweatshirt, and 2020’s hottest new fashion accessory, the face mask. All items feature a joyful kestrel designed by talented local artist and conservation geneticist, Dr. Stephanie Galla. Currently a postdoctoral researcher at Boise State University, Stephanie is studying how species like American Kestrels and big sagebrush are adapting to a changing climate. These two species inspired the 2020 design: a very happy kestrel perched on a wreath of flowering sagebrush.
“When making this illustration, I was thinking about how to grow and find joy, even while we're alone during COVID,” Stephanie says. “Studying adaptive capacity in other species makes me reflect on the ability of people to adapt and grow during tumultuous times. If other species can be resilient to a changing world, we can be resilient, too.

 

We selected USA-made, organic shirts so that your purchase supports more than just kestrels - you'll also be supporting the US economy and the critters that live amidst the cotton. The campaign ends on Thursday, October 29, so don’t miss your chance to help conserve kestrels AND look awesome doing it. Help us reach our fundraising goal of $10,000 by purchasing a shirt or three, or by helping us spread the word!

These items will be available for just a few short weeks before they're gone for good, so get yours today!
Support American Kestrel Conservation

Make Your Observations Count!

As we move into autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere, American Kestrel breeding season is well behind us and fall migration is now underway. We want to make sure all of your dedication and hard work helps not just the kestrels in your neighborhood, but all kestrels everywhere.

 

Make your observations count by logging on to your data portal on the AKP website and entering your submissions from the past breeding season. As of 8 October 2020, we have received observations from 1,089 nest boxes—surprisingly, more than we’d received by this date last year in spite of the coronavirus pandemic—but still shy of the 1,239 total nest boxes that were monitored by American Kestrel Partnership (AKP) Partners in 2019.

Each yellow pin represents a nest box that was monitored by an AKP Partner in 2019, but we haven't received any data from this year. Are any of these yours?
If you monitored nest boxes this year but haven’t submitted your data yet, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible to ensure your data are included in our year-end analysis. Have a large amount of data to enter? Having trouble with the data entry tools? If so, email our staff at kestrelpartnership@peregrinefund.org and we’ll be happy to help.

Were you planning to monitor one or more nest boxes this year, but did so less often or not at all because of COVID-19? If so, we want to know. Log on, select the nest in question, and check the box indicating that the pandemic interfered with your monitoring plan.

As always, we send a huge thank you to all of our Partners for your monitoring efforts—especially given the current world situation. Your unwavering dedication to conservation inspires us, and our work would not be possible without you.
Submit Your Data Now

Partner Bio: Tim & Shiela DeForest

This past spring, Tim & Shiela DeForest had a vole problem. A big one. With dozens of the small rodents wreaking havoc on their yard, the couple wanted to find a natural solution rather than turning to traps or poison. After constructing a nest box out of repurposed scrap lumber and chasing off some European Starling interlopers, the Colorado residents soon found themselves with new neighbors and allies: a pair of American Kestrels!

 

After discovering the American Kestrel Partnership through their research, Tim & Shiela say joining was a no-brainer. “It’s an organization with a broad reach across the country, so we knew through the Partnership we would have access to a network of other American Kestrel enthusiasts who could share their personal experiences. We also learned that the American Kestrel’s population is still in decline, so we hoped to be able to participate in conservation.”

And participate they did! Using a polecam, the couple kept tabs on the growing family in their nest box and uploaded their observations to the AKP database. Pretty soon Tim & Shiela weren’t the only ones watching the kestrels. “Our neighbors and families also got interested in them. They waited for updates and followed up with us if we hadn’t sent new photos or told them new stories.” The couple even teamed up with another AKP Partner, Scott Rashid of the Colorado Avian Research and Rehabilitation Institute (CARRI), to get the five nestlings banded.

Tim & Shiela are already looking forward to doing it all again next season. “We hope to see returning generations of American Kestrels in our backyard, and we hope to motivate others to do the same for these amazing raptors.”
Their story is a great example of why every Partner and every observation is important, not just those of professional researchers who monitor dozens of nest boxes. Tim & Shiela’s data are certainly a valuable tool in saving the species, but spreading an appreciation for these feisty falcons and an awareness of their plight is every bit as critical. By both contributing their sightings and spreading their love of kestrels, their efforts to help this amazing species will extend far beyond the family of seven that called their yard home this spring. Thank you, Tim & Shiela, and we look forward to working with you in the years to come!
How to Become a Partner

Tell Us About Your Kestrel Research

A huge thank you to all of our Partners who completed our survey on American Kestrel research! The goal of the survey was to assess what research was being done on kestrels and where, allowing us to identify and fill gaps in the current scientific efforts. You all came through big time—we received nearly 60 responses!

If you didn’t complete the survey yet, it’s not too late! The form is still online and will still be available for a limited time. If you collect data on American Kestrels—be it from nest box monitoring, migrating or wintering birds, or even wildlife rehabilitation—we encourage you to fill out the survey if you haven’t done so already.

If you work with others on an American Kestrel project, please select only one person to fill out the form per project. We thank you in advance for taking the time to share information about your research.

Questionnaire: YOUR American Kestrel Research
Please Welcome AKP's New Team Member
A huge thank you to Tabitha Delaney, who joined the AKP team this summer as part of The Peregrine Fund’s GRINtern program. Tabitha, who previously volunteered in The Peregrine Fund’s Raptor High youth program, is entering her senior year at Boise State University, where she majors in Environmental Studies and climate studies. She is helping our team on a wide variety of projects, from developing materials for our website and Adopt-a-Box program to contributing to our social media and outreach efforts, all while learning valuable skills such as video editing, article writing, and education and community outreach. We’ve been thrilled to have her help this summer and fall!
Internship Opportunities at The Peregrine Fund
Learn More About the American Kestrel Partnership

Have you ever wondered exactly what the American Kestrel Partnership IS? Who exactly are its Partners? Where are they? What happens to your data after you submit it? And how do your monitoring efforts help save American Kestrels?

American Kestrel Partnership Director Dr. Sarah Schultwitz answered these questions and more back in June as part of her webinar, “The American Kestrel Partnership: Working Together To Solve a Mystery.” If you missed it, the entire webinar—along with three other excellent presentations that made up Session 3 of The Peregrine Fund’s Speakers’ Series—is now available online.

"Saving Species" Speakers' Series #3
Additionally, you can view our short video, “Meet the Partners,” at the link below. Get introduced to some of the partners that make up the American Kestrel Partnership—from citizen scientists in Panama and Oregon to professional biologists in Maryland and everywhere in between—and learn more about their monitoring efforts.
We asked a few of our Partners to tell us a little more about themselves and about their kestrel monitoring programs. Here are their stories.
Many thanks for your partnership and support! Sending our best wishes for your health and safety in these uncertain times. 
 
With best wishes,
AKP Staff and Interns
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