Monitoring our smallest falcon

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    Vermont Institute of Natural Science researcher Emily Blaikie, right, and Zooey Zullo, of New England Falconry, weigh a roughly two-week-old kestrel on a visit to a nesting box at the falconry center in Woodstock, Vt., on Tuesday, June 16, 2022. With a declining population of American Kestrels across the continent, VINS is monitoring the species through a network of 79 boxes in Vermont and New Hampshire. They band, weigh, identify the sex of each nestling and take blood samples to check for agricultural contaminants. "This is the most hands-on we do with a species," said Jim Armbruster, VINS field research coordinator. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — James M. Patterson

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    Emily Blaikie, a researcher from the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences, middle, steadies the ladder for Zooey Zullo, of New England Falconry, as she puts a young kestrel back into its nesting box after banding it in Woodstock, Vt., on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Zullo has been passionate about birds since childhood. She named her daughter, who was a small baby born prematurely, Kestrel, "like ... North America' smallest, endangered and feisty falcon," said Zullo. The species is not on the brink of being lost, said VINS field research coordinator Jim Armbruster, left, "but anything we can do to keep from getting to that point is really helpful." The birds' dwindling numbers may be tied to loss of habitat in open space near dead trees with cavities for nesting. "So replacing them with nest boxes is one way that we think we can keep their populations from declining much farther," said Armbruster. Plans for building a kestrel nesting box can be found online through the American Kestrel Partnership. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Published: 6/21/2022 4:53:24 AM
Modified: 6/21/2022 11:42:25 AM




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