Seeking Edits to Permission Request to Install a Nestbox

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mbowman's picture
Seeking Edits to Permission Request to Install a Nestbox

Seeking edits, suggestions, and comments.

Hoping to start a small pilot box-monitoring project, I wrote this letter seeking permission from a local agency.  I sent this letter, and soon hope to send others.

All feedback appreciated.


Mark A. Bowman

695 W Pine St, Apt 1

Marengo, IA 52301

                                                                                                            December 15, 2020

Larry Gullet


Johnson County Conservation

2048 Hwy 6 NW

Oxford, IA 52322

Dear Mr. Gullet:

In 2016, Sydney Algreen, asked whether I might assist Mike Havlik, a Dallas County Naturalist, monitor his American Kestrel nestboxes.  I began doing so in May of 2016, and helped in May and June of subsequent years, excepting 2020, in which we hesitated consequent to the pandemic.

Since then, I have learned a great deal about the species and its decline, largely from American Kestrel Partnership (AKP) documents.  Providing and tending nestboxes benefits kestrels greatly, and monitoring nestboxes via an AKP protocol can provide valuable data concerning the nestbox and landscape traits that help their reproductive success the most.

In November, I gave a presentation to the Iowa City Bird Club about kestrel conservation.  Multiple members want to support me in establishing a pilot nestbox monitoring project in Johnson and possibly Iowa County.  We plan to build six nestboxes, and place them in sites that match their habitat needs.  We will then monitor their occupancy and productivity.

I write to ask whether we might consider Johnson County Properties for nestbox sites.  I fully appreciate that any permission given would have to be to an exquisitely specified location.  Nonetheless, I want to ascertain whether you and your agency’s Board of Directors would be open to the possibility of one or a very few boxes being installed on one or more Johnson County Properties.

I will contact the Iowa DNR, the Burr Oak Land Trust, and possibly other agencies and private property owners in this regard as well.  I am writing first to you because we are acquainted.



Mark A. Bowman, Ph.D.

Retired Associate Professor

Bird Bander (Subpermitted)

Johnson County Conservation Volunteer

matthewdanihel's picture

Hi Mark -

This is looking pretty good to us! Just a couple of changes that we can think of:

  1. We might revise the first sentence as follows: "In 2016, Sydney Algreen asked whether I might assist Dallas County Naturalist Mike Havlik monitor his American Kestrel nestboxes."
  2. It might also be worthwhile to talk a little more about how this project will be part of a larger whole in the AKP. We'd revise the end of the third paragraph as follows: "We will then monitor their occupancy and productivity according to AKP protocol. Researchers around the country will then be able to use our data to help discover, and reverse, the causes of decline in the American Kestrel population, which has lost half its population in the last 50 years."
  3. Should "exquisitely specified location" be "explicitly specified?"

Looking great overall! Thanks for all your efforts to get this project up and running, and if there's anything we can do to help let us know.

AKP Staff

mbowman's picture

Thanks, Matthew!  Will include all of your suggested revisions going forward.  "Exquisitely specified"  is funny, now that you noticed.