AKP Recommended Monitoring Practices

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mbowman's picture
AKP Recommended Monitoring Practices

What are the AKP suggested practices for maintaining and especially monitoring AMKE boxes?  //  I am a bird bander (primarily passerines, woodpeckers, and doves) who has been recruited by an Interpretive Naturalist to band AMKE.  Mike Havlik (Dallas County Conservation) began tending, repairing, and monitoring 30 boxes about three years ago.  //  Mike is stunningly energetic, dedicated, and knowledgeable about raptors, yet he has very many other job duties and limited time.  I live over 130 miles away from Mike's boxes.  I have volunteered to research how best to tend and monitor and we will seek a local recruit/volunteer to follow up.  //  Can you provide us with on-line info regarding spring cleanup, monitoring, etc.?  How often should boxes be checked?  What are relatively non-invasive monitoring methods?  Does anyone use a stick-mounted camera, inserting it through the entrance hole while on the ground?  (Our boxes seem to average about 10 or 12 feet above ground, on roadside utility poles, adjacent to corn and soybean fields.)  Does the AKP value AMKE banding?  What traits are used to age nestlings?  //  On May 7, we checked 20 boxes.  75% occupancy, 61 eggs, 5 nestlings.  One male was brooding, the rest female.  //  Do not know how to compare this data with others, nor do I have any further data regarding survivorship, etc.  We will monitor for nestlings sometime aroung June 10 and might be able to collect some body feathers.  //  We are novices and need more info.  //  Thanks!

Sarah Schulwitz
Sarah Schulwitz's picture

Hi there! Many thanks for reaching out! Sounds like a good plan to look into monitoring the boxes. Our website has our monitoring protocols, data sheets, and instructions on entering data. Lots of folks use cameras mounted on poles; we've got a few suggestions to get you started on our Other Tips and Tricks page. 

Check out the specific pages:

Nest Installation and Monitoring https://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/nest-monitoring

Instructions on Entering Your Data: https://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/entering-data

Other Tips and Tricks: https://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/other-tips

Your Data Entry Portal (must be signed in): https://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/app-dashboard

If you are signed in you can access the Nestling Aging Guide from the Nest Monitoring and Installation page, or here: https://hub.peregrinefund.org/aging-guide-klucsarits-rusbuldt. AKP doesn't incorporate nestling banding into our protocols, but many of our partners have their own research questions and do band!

Feel free to send an email to kestrelpartnership@peregrinefund.org if you have more questions and as you get your boxes entered into the database!

All the best,

mbowman's picture

Thanks, Sarah!  I did not explore the site vigorously enough before posting my questions.  I have begun to study the excellent materials.  Mark