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Posted 5/3/2013

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By John Mueller
Lead Natural Resource Specialist at Abiquiu Lake

ABIQUIU LAKE, N.M., -- Abiquiu Lake park rangers and Katherine Eagleson, director of the Espanola Wildlife Center, partnered on Saturday, April 20, 2013, to host an Earth Day event focused on protecting the American Kestrel.

This was the start of what will be an annual Earth Day event at Abiquiu Lake. Twenty volunteers gathered outside the Abiquiu Lake Visitor Center to learn about the “sparrow hawk,” the only kestrel native to the Americas. 

Kestrels feed on arthropods such as grasshoppers, and find nests in early May to lay their eggs. 

Eagleson explained that the open grassland areas surrounding Abiquiu Lake are ideal kestrel habitat. She then presented Squirt, a live captive female kestrel cared for by the Espanola Wildlife Center.

In order to improve nesting habitat around the lake, volunteers helped to construct three nesting boxes and traveled to different shoreline areas to install them.

Volunteers and staff will continue to monitor kestrel sightings and nesting activities throughout the year in the hopes of advancing kestrel habitat around the reservoir.       

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