Tag Archives: raptors

Volunteers Helping Kestrels on Cape Cod


(photo by Gualberto107, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Robert Barossi

Many raptors are iconic species, instantly recognized and often beloved by us human beings. They are also an important and essential part of the ecosystem in which they live. Here in Massachusetts, specifically on Cape Cod, there is an effort to bring more American kestrels to the area. The region’s┬ápopulation of this bird, the smallest falcon species, has been decreasing in size for some time. While the reason is not known for the declining numbers, there is something that people can do and are doing to attract more birds to the area: nest boxes. Like the volunteers and environmental organization staffers in story linked above, people everywhere can erect nest boxes that will provide the kestrel with a place to call home. Doing so is even encouraged by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, on their fact page about the American kestrel. On Cape Cod, volunteers will continue to work as monitors, keeping an eye on the birds who may inhabit the nest boxes. All of this work, and the other boxes built by people everywhere, will hopefully help keep this important and beautiful raptor species alive and thriving.


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Helping Barn Owls Return

ID-1006743(Photo by Liz Noffsinger, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Robert Barossi

Volunteers are often an integral part of wildlife protection and preservation programs. These may include anything from banding migratory birds to counting butterflies and listening for the songs of frogs and toads. This story out of Maryland details how volunteers are playing a role in the possible reappearance of the barn owl in the area. Volunteers have been helping to build and monitor barn owl nesting sites. One of those sites recently became the home to the first baby barn owls seen in the area in 17 years, according to the article. The birds were found by a volunteer who checked the nesting box over Memorial Day weekend. With this great work by volunteers and professionals, species which are currently endangered or threatened may be able to thrive once again.

Organizations involved include Calvert County Natural Resources Division and Southern Maryland Audubon Society (their website is currently under construction and not available).