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OFA Officers

Jonathan Coleman
President

Chris Kimble
Vice President

Bart Russell
President-elect

Shane Bullard
Treasurer

Rob Huber
Secretary



OFA is an affiliate of the North American Falconers' Association

OFA is a proud contributor to The Falconry Fund

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OFA Is a proud contributor to Quail Forever

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OFA Workshop - Kestrel Nest Boxes

Edmond, Oklahoma


On the afternoon of April 15th a small group of the OFA members gathered at the secluded estate of Mitch and Jan Wishon to build several nest boxes for American Kestrels. One of the key parts of the OFA mission is conservation. To that effect it was agreed, and voted upon to appropriate a portion of club funds to purchase materials for the nest boxes. The various components of the boxes were gathered by Chris Kimble, and the project came in under budget. While burgers and hotdogs were cooking away on the grill the pattern for the boxes was hotly debated. Finally having agreed upon a design a prototype was built. The pattern used only required one 1”X12”X8’ board per nest box. Click here to see the plans

http://nebula.wsimg.com/ce2b475160904dc5d97cc200547c1ed0?AccessKeyId=10CDBAAB75882B119ADC&disposition=0&alloworigin=1


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Having been well fed the crew got to work, and quickly turned 30 boards into 30 nest boxes. The work was done in two short hours. The boxes will be donated to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for them to station as they see fit. After the work was finished the afternoon gave in to friendly banter and repartee. Hawking stories were told. Plans for future conservation projects were discussed. Plans to attend the NAFA Meet in Kearny, NE were made.


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For those not familiar with the decline of the American Kestrel, studies have shown that North American populations have declined nearly 50% overall, and up to 88% in some areas of North America.  Below is an excerpt from the American Kestrel Partnership Website.  For more information see the website    

http://kestrel.peregrinefund.org/index.php?action=intro


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American Kestrels in decline

Most residents of the Western Hemisphere have seen American Kestrels, even if we can’t pick one out in a birding book. In fact, kestrels have long been appreciated as North America’s most abundant bird of prey: they watch us from ledges as we stop into a city café, or from power lines as we stroll along country highways. They also cram a lot of attitude into about four ounces of bird. Most people familiar with kestrels cannot resist hitting the brakes for a better view when they spot one hovering in midair, waiting for a mouse to make the wrong move.


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Unfortunately, this historically common little falcon has become a rare sight in many regions of North America, where populations have been declining for numerous decades. In several areas the declines are relatively steep, such as the Bird Conservation Regisions for the Southern Rocky Mountains/Colorado Plateau, Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain, and New England/Mid-Atlantic, illustrated in the graph at right and based on roadside count data from the USGS Breeding Bird Survey.

Kestrel_Population_Chart

Reasons for population declines may include land use, climate change, depredation by Cooper’s Hawks and other birds of prey, competition with European Starlings for nesting cavities, and environmental contaminants such as rodenticides, heavy metals, and brominated flame retardants (used in electronics and textiles). However, researchers do not have sufficient data to understand why these long-term, wide-spread population declines are occurring. Counts like the Breeding Bird Survey indicate there are fewer breeding kestrels, but they cannot determine where the birds are having trouble in their life cycle. Are adults not returning after winter to breed? Are they dying at high rates during breeding, migration, or over-wintering? Are they not breeding as often or failing when they do try to breed? And, critically, how are these demographic processes influenced by land use, environmental contaminants, climate trends, and competing or predatory species?


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These questions highlight the need for nestbox monitoring data, which offer demographic insights beyond head counts by giving us a glimpse into the kestrel life cycle. Although there are numerous successful nestbox programs across North America, they are largely localized and isolated from each other in a research context—making it difficult to draw reliable conclusions on a large scale. In response, the American Kestrel Partnership is coordinating an unprecedented, Western Hemispheric nestbox monitoring network and database by supporting existing nestbox programs and helping new programs fledge. Do you see kestrels where you live? Whether your local environment has growing, stable, or declining kestrel populations, we need your observations to advance kestrel demographics and conservation.


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To learn more about kestrel population trends in your state or Bird Conservation Region, please visit our webpage on population declines.


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Kestrel_Nest_Box_2017


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Kestrel_Nest_Box_2017


Kestrel_Nest_Box_2017


Kestrel_Nest_Box_2017


Kestrel_Nest_Box_2017


Kestrel_Nest_Box_2017

 
 

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December, 2017

Chub


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