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Killian the Kestrel

Killian the Kestrel

Killian is an American Kestrel and was admitted into our hospital during the spring of 2015.

He was a fledgling bird, learning how to fly, when a dog caught him. Although quickly rescued, he sustained a non-repairable wing fracture. He is now unable to fly and is not releasable. Although born in the wild, Killian has been socialized with people. Kestrels are known to be quite trainable and are often used in falconry. Killian will remain at the MRWC for the remiander of his life. He will act as an education animal, companion for other Kestrels, and potentially a foster-father for orphaned Kestrels admitted into our hospital. Killian means "small but fierce".

  • The American Kestrel is the smallest North American Falcon.
  • Kestrels have a wingspan of close to 50cm and weigh in at 85-170gm.
  • They are beautiful birds with a rusty-orange back and black stripes and spots. The males also have blue-grey heads and wings.
  • Prey include insects, mice, voles, and small birds.
  • They are often seen on power lines with their tails flicking up and down.
  • They hunt with excellent vision, sharp beak and talons.
  • Kestrels are found in Alberta during the summer and migrate south in the winter.
  • Nesting takes place within cavities - old woodpecker holes, natural cavities, rock crevices, and man-made nestboxes.
  • They lay 4-5 eggs and incubate for a month.
  • Predators include Goshawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Crows, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and Cooper's Hawks.
  • Kestrels can live up to 17 years in captivity with the average between 10-12 years.

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