JET – AMERICAN KESTREL
CLICK HERE TO ADOPT JET
Hatch Year: 2008
Arrival to WBS: 2008
Reason for Residence: imprinted on humans
Jet was brought to the rehabilitation hospital at World Bird Sanctuary as a young orphaned bird. Upon arrival, it was immediately clear that Jet was entirely too comfortable around humans for a wild bird, and was food begging to humans. It was determined that he was imprinted, and thus non-releasable. He stayed with World Bird Sanctuary and joined the education team as an education ambassador. Jet quickly adjusted to life as an education bird and earned his name after Jet Lee for his ninja fast moves in the air and on the ground, where when he was younger he would mock fight with his trainer’s shoes. For years Jet flew in education programs and traveled the country until age finally forced him to retire from flying.
Jet is still an active animal ambassador and can be found traveling to programs as a glove bird and helping teach people about falcons. When not traveling for programs Jet spends his time being the best possible bodyguard in the Nature Center weathering area, being sure to keep his eyes peeled to the sky and alarm call at any other wild raptor who may pass by.
SPECIES: AMERICAN KESTREL
CONSERVATION STATUS: LEAST CONCERN
The American Kestrel is North America’s most common and widespread falcon.
Scientific Name: Falco sparverius
Description: small falcon; long tail; long, pointed wing tips; rust colored crown, back and tail; double black stripes on white face resembling a mustache; hooked bill; in flight they have pale underwings
Sex: male has blue-gray wings, a buff breast and white underparts with dark spots; in flight he has a row of circular white spots on the trailing wing edge; female lacks the blue-grey feathers that denote the male; her back and wings are roufous with pronounced barring; juveniles are similar to adults but with a heavily streaked breast and completely barred back
Age: up to 5 years in the wild
Weight: 3-5 oz.
Habitat: open country, deserts, urban areas, farms, wood edges
Range: North and South America, West Indies, Juan Fernandez Islands, Chile
Behavior: monogamous; don’t build nests; lay 3-7 buffy-pink to grayish-white eggs marked with brown in tree cavities, building crevices or old magpie nests; incubation lasts 29-31 days, generally by the female; chicks hatch semi-altricial and leave the nest after a month; 1 brood per year except in the south and when food is abundant; hunts by hovering over the ground with rapid wing beats or sitting on a tree or telephone wire and plunging after its prey; frequently bobs its tail while perched on telephone wires; use nestboxes often
Diet: mice, insects and small birds, reptiles, small mammals
Vocalization: shrill “killy killy killy” or “klee, klee, klee”
– American Kestrels was formerly known as the “sparrow hawk.”
– Male kestrels will repeatedly soar high up into the air, call loudly, and then dive back towards the ground when establishing their territory.
– Kestrels can frequently be seen “hovering” over the grassy areas of highway cloverleafs where they find an abundance of insects and rodents. A good example of how they have adapted their hunting skills to urban living.