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Monday, January 29 • 4:20pm - 4:40pm
TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Effects of Land Management Type on American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) Occupancy and Recruitment

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AUTHORS. Allie K. Kohler, Mary R. Sellars, Charlotte R. Catalano - Northland College; Thomas C. Doolittle, US Forest Service; Erik R. Olson, Northland College

ABSTRACT. The American kestrel (Falco sparverius)is the smallest falcon species in North America. F. sparverius has experienced drastic population declines in recent decades, although the causes for the declines are unknown. To examine the effects of land ownership on F. sparverius nest box occupancy and recruitment, we installed 52 nest boxes on private agricultural lands and public lands within the Moquah Barrens of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. We documented high F. sparverius nest box occupancy rates in 2017 (52.9%) relative to the national average (37.7%). Nest box occupancy on public land (57%) was higher than occupancy on private lands (48%) during the summer of 2017. Although we observed a difference in the nestling sex ratios in 2016 (private: 71% female; public: 61% female) we did not observe a difference in 2017 (private: 54% female; public: 54% female). In addition, we recorded significantly lower success rates this past summer compared to the previous summer. These results may suggest that there were less suitable conditions this year compared to previous year, although future research is warranted. During the summers of 2015, 2016 and 2017, we respectively banded 27, 56 and 84 adults and nestlings. Future efforts will include analysis of a Smart Box pilot study and examination of nest box contents to better understand the species and likely provide insights to their decline.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm CST