Kristin A. L. Hall is an MMN member and State Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The decline of American Kestrels in North America is alarming. The Minnesota DNR prioritized the need to conduct research on this species as an action item within our Wildlife Action Plan. Population trends for American Kestrels based on the federal Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) indicate a significant decline of −2.68% per year from 1967 to 2015 in Minnesota. Our research approach is guided by a paper titled Research Recommendations for Understanding the Decline of American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) Across Much of North America (McClure et.al. 2017), specifically our research is focused on:
- Better understanding fledgling survivability through tracking fledglings using the Motus network for at least 1-year post-fledging.
- Understanding full-life cycle needs of adult kestrels by tracking them from known nest boxes via Motus telemetry.
Our project will help us better understand which of the kestrel’s life phases is most vulnerable to mortality, narrowing the current information gap on primary threats.