How Idahoans Can Use Crowdfunding To Help Struggling Kestrels

Sep 24, 2015

Scientists studying the American Kestrel are asking for the public’s help to pay for new research into the bird’s decline. The hope is that people who admire America’s smallest falcon will try to save it.

“American Kestrels are adorable little birds,” says Erin Katzner with the Peregrine Fund in Boise. She hopes that popularity will get followers and supporters of the bird to fund new research into why the bird is thriving in the West, but declining in the Northeast. The key may be in their migration.

Kestrels migrate to Central and South America. But scientists aren’t sure where birds from different regions end up in the winter and they want to find out.

“There is clearly something happening to the Northeast population that’s not happening out here in the West. And so we’re hoping this project can get to the bottom of that mystery.”

A baby American Kestrel. Fans of the birds build nest boxes for them and then check to see how many chicks hatch each year.
Credit The Peregrine Fund

Katzner says citizen scientists already help support kestrels by building nest boxes and monitoring their use. The Fund hopes the bird’s fans will be part of the conservation effort and support the new research by raising $40,000 through GoFundMe.

“We like the idea of giving them the opportunity to give back to the species but also to be a part of our research team.”

Normally, the Peregrine Fund would apply for a grant from a foundation or ask major donors to pay for a study. But they want to put conservation into the hands of their followers and supporters.

Find out more about the study here.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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