Threatened Bird Species Get New Homes

By on April 23rd, 2014
This previously installed nest box is home to a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. The nest box pictured was designed for this type of bird and is located at Prairie Creek Lodge, a preservation site of the Alachua Conservation Trust.

Daniela Mencos/WUFT News

This nest box is home to a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. The nest box is located at Prairie Creek Lodge, a preservation site of the Alachua Conservation Trust.

A major problem facing Florida’s endangered birds is habitat loss, and the Alachua Conservation Trust is working to combat that.

Thirty new nest boxes were installed April 17 at Little Orange Creek Preserve. These nest boxes are used to increase populations of birds that have limited nesting cavities in trees, according to the FWC’s website.

Deforestation and development have reduced the amount of trees, so there is a scarcity in nesting habitats for birds.

Chris Burney, project manager for the trust, a non-profit organization, said the boxes were specifically designed for the wood duck and the southeastern American kestrel, but any nesting bird can use them. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission consider both birds threatened species.

“I think the kestrel box program will have success in re-establishing birds in parts where they have vacated,” Burney said.

According to the Wildlife Habitat Management Institute, the kestrel’s value lies in the role it plays in keeping insect and small rodent populations in check.

In 2009, the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, a department within the FWC, created a statewide nest box-monitoring project because of a decline in bird species.

About 15 nest boxes were installed on Alachua Conservation Trust lands after the program’s start in 2009.

With the acquisition of 1,000 new acres along the Alachua and Putnam county line, the conservation trust is now looking to expand the number of nest boxes available for birds.

Karl Miller, the FWC’s avian coordinator for land birds, instituted the original project in 12 North Central Florida counties, including Alachua County.

Last fall, staff and volunteers built 30 nest boxes.

Since the project was started the boxes have shown to be effective in increasing kestrel numbers, but a lot still needs to be done to improve the quality and quantity of suitable habitats, Miller said.

Volunteers from the community are encouraged to come out to the sites and assist staff in installing the new boxes.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in Local

For National Fire Prevention Week, area fire departments are stressing the importance of having working smoke alarms.

Local Fire Organizations Promote Fire Safety Awareness

National Fire Prevention Week started Oct. 4. Gainesville and Ocala organizations will join the promotion of the national theme, “Hear the beep where you sleep. Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm!”

Evanna Alvarez, 10, is spearheading a donation drive to keep the shelves of the Alachua County Humane Society filled with peanut butter for the dogs. They go through 15 jars of it each week.

Local Girl Scout Launches Peanut Butter Drive for Humane Society

Local Girl Scout Evanna Alvarez launched a GoFundMe campaign and donation drive to bring peanut butter to the Alachua County Humane Society. The Humane Society goes through 15 jars of peanut butter a week feeding dogs.

A group of dignitaries recently broke ground for the Cade Museum of Creativity and Innovation in Gainesville.

Cade Museum Groundbreaking Coincides with 50th Anniversary of Gatorade

The Cade Museum held its ground-breaking ceremony Oct. 2 and is scheduled to open in 2017. The museum will celebrate the legacy of Robert Cade, inventor of Gatorade, in the 50th anniversary of the sports drink.

Thaddeus Bullard sits with homeless couple, Joe and Vivian Mulligan, as he listens to their story.

UF Hall Of Famer And WWE Superstar Feeds The Homeless

Former Gator great Thaddeus Bullard is completing his challenge of 3,000 volunteer hours to the Gator Nation. Along the way, he stopped by the St. Francis House house to help serve food and mingle with the crowd.

IFAS researchers have been involved in an experiment to uncover ways to create tastier and sturdier blueberries.

Florida Researchers Aim To Breed Better Blueberries

Researchers tested 19 different types of blueberries, which were ranked based on overall liking, texture, sweetness, sourness and flavor intensity to determine what type of blueberry people liked and which type would produce consistent results when grown in different environments.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments