Baby Kestrel





I was on my way back from checking on one of the eagle nests last week when I saw a baby kestrel in the road. At first, I thought he was an injured adult. There are many big trucks that come down this road and I was afraid he was going to get run over. I called Operation Wildlife and the wonderful woman on the line said, “Is his tail about two inches long?” I realized she was asking because he was a baby and his parents were probably around feeding him. I asked her if she thought it would be OK for me to move him into the nearby field so he wouldn’t get hit by a car. She said that would probably be a good idea. I really wanted to pick him up and give him a few pets while I was doing this, but of course, I knew no matter how cute he looked, I could lose a finger, not to mention, terrify him. I grabbed a canvas bag out of the car and used it to scoot him out of the road. He hissed at me a bit, but seemed very curious about what I was saying to him (I was telling him how beautiful he was and giving him a little lecture about staying out of the middle of the road).

After I got him into the field, I heard the parents overhead giving me a scolding, so I figured everything would be OK. We went back to check on him over the next few days and realized that the reason he was hanging out in this area, so near the road, was there is a nest box nearby. Sure enough, another baby was sticking her head out watching. The nest box looked a bit like a phone box, so we hadn’t noticed it before. When we checked on him the last time, he was in the same area, but seemed to be doing a bit more flying. We haven’t been back in several days. I pray that he and his siblings are doing well. We hope to drive back by tomorrow and see if all is well. Click on pictures to enlarge.

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