An unexpected mystery
When you hear “bird of prey” most people visualize the bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, or an owl. Typically, the smallest of the raptors don’t get as much attention, but scientists are realizing that these are the raptors who might currently be in the most danger.
According to the American Kestrel Partnership and the Peregrine Fund, the American kestrel, is declining. In the mid-Atlantic and northeast, the kestrel population has declined by 93%. There are lots of questions: Is it climate change? Habitat loss? Land use? We don’t know. One way to learn more is through nest box monitoring.
In 2021, ECC is going to take action and join the American Kestrel Partnership as a monitoring partner. The Anacostia Kestrel Nest Watch will be ECC’s newest nest box program. Not only will we be monitoring nests, but we will also be engaging youth to build kestrel boxes which will provide a needed refuge for these disappearing birds.
Anacostia Raptor Watch Careers
Youth development is a major part of ECC’s mission. We are excited to work with area youth to kick-off our newest nest watch project. In 2021, youth will build the boxes, place them in desirable locations, and monitor activity.
All data collected will be shared with the American Kestrel Partnership.
Through programs like this, young people develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving, STEM knowledge, and gain an introduction to meaningful conservation career paths.