August Bayside Talks: Kestrels and Cranberries - August 1
Published: June 17, 2012
|Adult Kestrel ©Joey Mason
If a North American bird of prey could be called cute, the American kestrel would qualify. Kestrels are small, colorful falcons—about the size of a robin—and because they prefer open spaces for foraging and nesting, you don’t usually get to see them up close.
But on Wednesday, August 1 at 7:30PM, you’ll have a chance to see a live kestrel and its cousin, the merlin. Joey Mason, who’s been working for more than 20 years to promote kestrel conservation, will present Kestrels and Cranberries, an account of the 60 or more nest boxes she and a partner have put up in cranberry bogs– open spaces kestrels like for finding food. The project began well, but Joey says there are fewer occupied boxes these days.
A sharp decline in breeding kestrels in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the northeast has been documented in Mass Audubon’s 2011 State of the Birds report. Several possible causes have been identified--fewer open landscapes the birds need for nesting and feeding, pressure perhaps from Cooper’s hawks—but there’s no “smoking gun”.
But despite the discouraging trend for breeding kestrels in Massachusetts, Joey’s been successfully protecting raptors in other ways. She’ll also provide information on how you can observe and report the raptors you see to help conservationists can get a better understanding of the status of these fascinating birds.
Pre-registration is required. Register online or call 508-349-2615.