Farmland raptors

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Laurie Goodrich (Director of Education for Hawk Mountain Sanctuary)

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Farmland raptors

  1. 1. SHORT-EARED OWL NORTHERN HARRIER Endangered in Pennsylvania Threatened in Pennsylvania
  2. 2. AMERICAN KESTREL BARN OWL Populations declining in Eastern North America Declining in Pennsylvania
  3. 3. 1984-1989 (220 blocks) 2004-2008 (117 Blocks) PA BREEDING BIRD ATLAS MAPS
  4. 4. American Kestrel Migration Counts at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, 1966-2010 1990s: 637 birds annually 2000s: 462 birds annually 27% Decline 1974-2004 -1.6% per yr 1994-2004 -4.8% per yr Linear trend (1966-2010): -1.34%/year, p=.0000
  5. 5.  Linear trend: -1.5%/year, p=.0000 Similar decline to kestrel
  6. 6. 30 50 70 90 110 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 Pairs of American Kestrels Breeding in Hawk Mountain Nest Boxes 1992-2007
  7. 7. Reasons for Decline Loss of habitat
  8. 8. Conversion of hayfields to row crops GMO-Row crops ?
  9. 9. Development
  10. 10. Tree Cavities….. Historically where Barn Owls and American Kestrels nested Loss of Nesting Sites Removal of dead trees
  11. 11. …now Barn Owls are more associated with nesting in barns and silos than trees.
  12. 12. Pesticide/Rodenticide Use • Reduction of insect and rodent prey • Secondary Poisoning (e.g., brodifacoum) • Bioaccumulation of chemicals Habitat Fragmentation • Forcing the use of sub-par habitat • increased predation by forest hawks and owls
  13. 13. They prey upon common farm pests like insects, mice and voles.
  14. 14. A family of Barn Owls can consume up to 3,000 rodents in one breeding season
  15. 15. Joint effort of: • Hawk Mountain Sanctuary • Pa Wild Resource Conservation • Program & cooperating • with Penn. Game Commission Goal = Reach out to landowners to: • Enlist their help in locating the nests of four raptor species of concern:  American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl • Encourage farmland owners to join the effort to conserve these raptors
  16. 16. Red = Breeding - Blue = Wintering - White = Migration
  17. 17. New web pages and brochures Contacted birdwatchers to report nesting season sightings Gave programs at Agriculture Meetings, Fairs, Farm Show Press releases, articles, interviews, etc. Began working with state diversity biologists & recruited volunteers
  18. 18. 200+ landowners or interested people putting up boxes, reporting sightings, etc.
  19. 19. Look for farmland raptors on your property Report your sightings!
  20. 20.  Fill out the form found on the back of the Farmland Raptor Project Brochure and mail to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary  Or fill out the online form at our website: www.hawkmountain.org/farmlandraptors  For information contact:  Dr. Laurie Goodrich Senior Monitoring Biologist goodrich@hawkmtn.org 570-943-3411 ext. 106
  21. 21. BARN OWL BOXAMERICAN KESTREL BOX Report their locations to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
  22. 22. • Mount on barns, silos, trees or poles • A minimum of 15 feet high • Entrance facing large open fields • Can be mounted inside with entrance cut in outside wall
  23. 23. • Mount on barns, trees, or posts • 8 to 20 feet from the ground • Entrance facing open area greater than 1 acre • Place at least 50 yards from wooded areas
  24. 24.  Increase acreage of grass, hay, or pasture  Participate in programs that provide financial aid for habitat restoration: CREP, WHIP
  25. 25. DELAY MOWING UNTIL JULY NORTHERN HARRIER NEST
  26. 26. New second-generation pesticides are LETHAL to raptors and other wildlife! Let FARMLAND RAPTORS be your natural pest control agent! Barn Owls eat hundreds of rodents! If you must use a rodenticide use first-generation rodenticides only.
  27. 27. Contact us with questions or sightings at: Email: info@hawkmountain.org Phone: 570-943-3411 x 106 By mail: Hawk Mountain Farmland Raptor Project 1700 Hawk Mountain Road Kempton, PA 19529.

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