American Kestrel - "Apollo"
Apollo was found in August 2017 on the ground in Morgan Hill unable to fly. He was chasing his meal, a house sparrow, and crashed into the side of structure damaging his wing. The house sparrow died impact and the rescuer brought Apollo into WERC. Apollo was brought to our vet and x-rays taken of his wings. After examination by our veterinarian, it was determined that Apollo had a broken his humorous bone. The break was near his shoulder joint so that the vet could not put a pin into the bone fragments to keep it together. All that could be done was to wrap the wing and hope the bone would stay aligned well enough it would heal to allow Apollo to fly. Unfortunately, it did not heal well enough for Apollo to hunt. In September of 2017 Apollo joined W.E.R.C.'s educational program.
Kestrel Fast Facts:
These birds can see ultraviolet light! This traits enables them to make out the trails of urine that rodents leave as they run along the ground-- Like neon diner signs, these bright paths may highlight the way to a meal.
Height: 8-12" Wingspan: 20-24" Weight: 2-5 oz (80-165 gms)
Voice: A high, loud cackle. A klee-klee-klee sound.
Habitat:Open areas with short ground vegetation and sparse trees. Meadows, grasslands, deserts and farm fields.
Nesting: Nest in cavities: old woodpecker holes and rock crevasses.
Diet: Rodents,insects and other small invertebrates
Lifespan in the wild: 12 years
Range: Resident to long-distance migrant. While some American Kestrels migrate to Central America, the great majority spend the winter in the southern United States. Kestrels can often be seen along mountain ridges and at hawk watches during fall migration.