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2nd Graders build kestrel boxes

  • building5, finished product
    building5, finished product
  • building1
    building1
  • building2
    building2
  • building3
    building3
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    building4
  • building6, finished boxes
    building6, finished boxes

Students display their finished kestrel nestboxes

Download American kestrel nestbox building plans now

When second graders at Seven Generations Charter School, Emmaus, learned that populations of American kestrels are in decline, they took action. Together with their parents and teachers they raised funds by hosting a pizza lunch and bake sale, and then used their revenue to buy 12 nestbox kits from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Three classrooms with a total 44 students took part.

"The students became aware of kestrels and their declines while studying their forest unit," explains teacher Louise Moyer. "Because they also learned that the kestrel is a farmer's friend and preys upon common farmland pests, the students decided to work with some of the farms they visited in first grade during their agriculture unit, as well as some other local farmers," she said.

The students have already drafted a letter and now are awaiting permission to place nestboxes on local farms sometime in mid-February.

Their timing is perfect, as the tiny falcons begin to search for nest sites at the end of the February, and take up residence during March and April.

“Introducing school children to practical and effective raptor conservation is what Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is all about," says Director of Conservation Science Dr. Keith Bildstein.

"These youngsters are learning-by-doing, which is something they, their parents, their teachers, and all of us, can be proud of,” he adds.

The American kestrel is North America's smallest and most colorful falcon, and can be seen perched anywhere overlooking a stretch of field, where they can hunt for small prey such as mice, voles, snakes and large insects such as grasshoppers and dragonflies.

To learn more, please visit our Farmland Raptor or the American Kestrel page.
Download a copy of the Raptors of Hawk Mountain coloring book.
Find more learning tools now.

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