Saturday, March 14, 2015

little spitfire

Trust me. She's a cold-blooded killer.

In the past 17 years, I've worked with several birds of prey at the nature center. All have been injured in some way, that's why we have them. All have had different – for want of a better word – personalities.

The dictionary defines feisty as: full of animation, energy, or courage; spirited; spunky; plucky. This American kestrel, le petit tigre, is all that plus she's loud! She's got cap A attitude. Female kestrels weigh roughly four ounces. If she was as big as a golden eagle, this little spitfire could dismember me in seconds. If you find yourself in a street fight, you'd want this bird on your side, she's a four ounce pitbull.

Kestrels eat small rodents and insects. In the summer, they love crunchy grasshoppers.

I know she's cute. Once called sparrow hawks, not because they ate sparrows but because they're petite like sparrows, kestrels are now known as falcons. Yet, recent genetics studies indicate that the falcons are more closely related to parrots than to hawks, so she's parrot-pretty. But the Ijams kestrel ain't no Polly, she's too pugnacious. She'd make a great scrappy faux parrot, sitting on the shoulder of a rogue pirate captain like Jack Sparrow...hawk. 

Even though it is raining off and on, stop by Ijams today for one of our Creature Features at 10 am, 2 and 3 pm. They are free! 

All photos by Chuck Cooper. 

If you're a grasshopper, this could be the last face you ever see.

You want a piece of me?
Female American kestrel—parrot pretty.

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