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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field

"Notes from the Field" provides frequent updates and pictures from our biologists and students who are working in the field or at our headquarters, the World Center for Birds of Prey.

Found 5 entries matching your request:

2011 Aplomado Falcon Territory Occupancy Survey Summary - South Texas

Paul Juergens — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

Like in years past, we spent approximately one month in southern Texas surveying suitable habitat and, predominantly, historically occupied falcon territories in the areas in and around Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) and Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (LANWR). The main goal of the survey was to determine territory occupancy.

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2011 South Texas Artificial Nest Structure Work

Paul Juergens — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

The days are getting longer, temperatures are climbing, and the wind is making a regular presence tossing up dust and tumbleweeds; doing its best to make working outside miserable…winter is coming to an end and spring in southern New Mexico has arrived. It is time to work on aplomado falcon nest structures for our southern Texas population. Building the nest boxes has always been a very enjoyable part of the job. It sort of reminds me of those childhood projects of building bird houses, chicken coops, benches, etc. Simple yet very effective. When it comes to aplomado falcons, many of these artificial nests are not totally necessary in coastal Texas where the population appears stable and where natural nests, built by other species like white-tailed hawks and Chihuahuan ravens, are abundant. However, what the nest structures do provide, now that we have seemingly worked out their design to its maximum effectiveness, is a very safe place for falcons to nest and ultimately improving nest success and productivity in the population – a scenario often not offered by many natural nests. Essentially, our breeding pairs of aplomado falcons, particularly those utilizing nest boxes, are working as miniature hack (release) sites that at the very least during difficult years (e.g. droughty periods) are apparently able to keep the population at a stable level so long as habitat is available. We can make this statement as we have found recruitment rates of wild fledged young are much higher than that of captive-bred released falcons. So the beneficial role the nest structures provide cannot be overstated.

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Aplomado Falcons update Feb. 2010

Paul Juergens — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

Angel Montoya, Brian Mutch, and I have just wrapped up our trip to South Texas to maintain existing nest structures and place a few new nest boxes in Aplomado Falcon territories.

It was a very productive trip despite the difficulties in getting around. Both the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge and Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge areas this winter finally received much needed rainfall, which made travel off of pavement or maintained all-weather roads next to impossible in the trucks. However, the ATVs we brought down were great and we generally had no trouble getting us to the nest sites, even with tools and materials in tow.

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South Texas Aplomado Falcon update, April-May 2010

Paul Juergens — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

As of 14 May, Brian Mutch, Angel Montoya, and I completed the 2010 Aplomado Falcon occupancy survey in South Texas. Tom Cade and Grainger Hunt also visited during the first full week of surveying in the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge area. Overall, the results are very similar to what we have observed the last two years.

The falcons looked great, and it was a relief to see the area recovering from one of the most severe droughts on record. Brian and I arrived in South Texas in a torrential downpour, and Angel and I left the area in very similar weather. However, the weather during the survey period was quite favorable, especially during the first three weeks. During the last week of surveying, warm winds out of the southeast and high humidity were the norm. We did make good use of our ATVs early in the survey; although by the end of the survey, all of the roads had dried out and we were able to drive the trucks pretty much anywhere we needed to go.

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Spring 2008 Aplomado Falcon Project Update

Paul Juergens — in Aplomado Falcon Restoration

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge<br /> male Aplomado Falcon at sunrise.
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
male Aplomado Falcon at sunrise.
We are now well into spring and fast approaching summer which means falcons re-established in the wilds of South and West Texas, as well as those in the captive breeding facility in Boise, are well into the nesting season.

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