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American Kestrel nest boxes installed at Machicomoco State Park

An American Kestrel spotted at Machicomoco State Park during the Middle Peninsula Bird Club’s outing on Jan. 25.

Machicomoco State Park, Hayes, has partnered with the Middle Peninsula and Peninsula chapters of Virginia Master Naturalists in order to support American Kestrel conservation and the state park’s ongoing education efforts.

Recently, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation with the help of Park Ranger Emily Harlan has given permission for Master Naturalist volunteers to place two American Kestrel nest boxes on park grounds.

Machicomoco has been the residence of at least one American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) since 2018. Data collected from migration counts, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Breeding Bird Survey and nest-box monitoring programs show steep declines in American Kestrel populations throughout North America, particularly in the Northeast. Lack of suitable nestling cavities can severely limit the American Kestrel numbers....

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