Matt Giovanni is a research biologist with the Peregrine Fund who oversees the nest box. “They come and go throughout the day, chasing each other, feeding, and begging for food from their parents and generally learning how to be a Kestrel.”
That learning period is a dangerous time. Giovanni says survival rates go down when they start to fledge, or leave the nest. “They don’t know how to do anything, they don’t know how to perch, they don’t how to identify or evade predators, they don’t know how to hunt, they hardly even know how to fly.”
We’ve been following the baby birds since April when the Peregrine Fund launched the American Kestrel Partnership. Their goal is for citizen scientists to put up nest boxes and monitor American Kestrel populations across the U-S. Giovanni says 200 people have put up 600 nest boxes around the country. The data they gather will be used to track kestrel populations and learn how to help the declining birds survive.
Here's a video of the first nestling to leave the box, leaving those behind to wonder.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio