The American Kestrel Partnership's (AKP) mission is to understand what is causing the decline of American Kestrels in the service of conservation efforts. The key to understanding kestrel decline may be found on their wintering grounds or during their migration.
University of North Texas Biology PhD student Kelsey Biles has been pioneering the way in Texas, where the AKP is now supporting rigorous research on American Kestrels occurring on two sites. Thanks to generous donors, they are able to use tracking devices to help better understand over-winter survival, annual survival, and migration pathways for kestrels that spend the winter in Texas.
Kelsey and her team of student assistants and volunteers have been trapping, color banding, placing tracking devices, and re-sighting kestrels in Texas for the past several winters. She does this work under her advisor and long-time raptor researcher, UNT professor Dr. Jim Bednarz. In their four years of research, the team has banded and tracked nearly 120 of these beautiful birds.
The AKP produced a video featuring Kelsey's work and trapping project this past winter.
Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKJuyVgwrvs
Thank you to Heidi Henderson for compiling this video.
Learn more about the American Kestrel Partnership by visiting kestrel.peregrinefund.org.
To support the work of UNT student researchers like Kelsey, consider making a gift to the UNT College of Science's Dean's Excellence Fund at https://one.unt.edu/giving/college-of-science or by contacting our COS Director of Development Meghan Dours to discuss your philanthropic interests.