American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

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Our educational male American Kestrel is smaller than most males. This is because he contracted West Nile Virus when he was still in the nest in 2012. This caused stunting of his growth and residual neurological issues that make it so he is not able to recognize prey in the wild.

This American Kestrel is a stunning bird, with his slate blue wing edges, typical of the males of this species. For volunteers he is a joy to work with. Every spring, despite the fact that he doesn’t have a mate, he builds a scrape (a depression in the ground for eggs to be laid in). When any of the bird care humans enter his cage, he courts them and shows off his nest building prowess. His chirps and trills and antics are fun to see.

At exhibits, he is always a hit, with his curiosity and head-bobbing. The head bobbing he demonstrates is typical of many falcons. By bobbing the head up and down they are able to better focus on what they are looking at and thus understand it. With his energetic falcon personality, he does a great job of giving people a chance to see the smallest falcon in North America up close.

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