Kestrels, America’s smallest and flashiest falcons, were once common throughout Minnesota. But conservationists say their populations are declining.
UMC Senior Andy Albertsen, from Nelson, MN, is launching a new project to change that trend. Albertsen has started the Crookston Kestrel Watch Project to study these birds – and to provide artificial nest boxes for them in the Crookston area.
The idea of building nest boxes in Crookston started last fall when Albertsen contacted Agassiz Audubon Society for nest box plans. Albertsen also worked closely with University Instructors to identify potential nest box sites. He plans on working with the Crookston High School, The Natural Resources Club from UMC, and The Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society from UMC, to construct, install, and monitor 10 nest boxes for these falcons. PKM Electric Coop (located in Warren), has donated retired power poles and Otter Tail Power Company out of the Crookston Service Office will be installing them this winter.
“It’s a great way to get the community involved in a citizen-science conservation project that’s challenging,” said Albertsen, “and a lot of fun.”
If you, your business, or organization would like to participate in the Crookston Kestrel Watch Project, Albertsen is looking for volunteers to help monitor the boxes. He will be presenting a free program at the Crookston Public Library on Tuesday, March 11th at 6:00pm.