The 2004 Aplomado Hack Season
Erin Gott— 21 March 2004 — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration Share
On 5 January the Texas Aplomado team gathered at its new office located in Port Isabel, Texas, south of Laguna Atascosa NWR. We wasted little time getting the 2004 season started. We focused first on building new artificial nest structures. Our goal this year is to boost nest production of Aplomado Falcons by implementing nest structures in known falcon habitat.
On 17 and 18 February, Angel Montoya, Paul Juergens and I flew, with pilot Chuck Schroll from Light Hawk, over 600 miles of potential Aplomado habitat. During the aerial survey we explored coastal prairie habitat from Tepehauje, Tamp., Mexico to Matagorda Island, Matagorda County, Texas. We observed eight Aplomado Falcons, their prey species and suitable habitat both in areas restricted and unrestricted to us on the ground. The information gained from the flight will allow our biologists to conduct thorough surveys on the ground in unexplored areas of potential Aplomado Falcon habitat
On 21 February we finished building structures and started placing them on Laguna Atascosa NWR, Matagorda Island NWR, and surrounding private properties. To date we have placed a total of 24 nest structures (16 open and eight barred.)
For the next two months, we will be busy searching for Aplomado Falcons in South Texas, identifying pairs and floaters, observing behavior and documenting nesting success.
From this point on I hope to update our notes from the field every couple of weeks, so stay tuned.
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