Our Birds: Apollo

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A.K.A.: No known aliases

Species: American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Sex: Male

Hatched: 2010

Arrived: 2011

Condition: Human Imprint (illegally raised by people)

apollo   apollo   apollo   apollo   apollo

His Story

Apollo is a human-imprinted bird, and it shows! He has absolutely no fear of people, and seems to downright enjoy human contact. This may make him endearing and cute (and boy, he is cute!), but it's simply no way for a wild bird to be.

As a young bird, Apollo was turned in to the Toronto Wildlife Centre. The people who surrendered him claimed that he had been hit by a car, but a quick physical exam told a stranger story. Apollo's talons were neatly trimmed, and his flight feathers were all broken off at the same length - a common sign of a bird being kept in a cage that is too small.

It quickly became clear that Apollo had been illegally stolen from the wild as an egg or a chick, and raised as someone's pet. Because he was raised by people, he will forever believe that he is a human being, and would not survive if released into the wild. His big eyes and inexplicably expressive face never fail to generate some 'oohs' and 'aahs', and he has shown many an audience that it's not the size of the bird that matters!

Species Information: American Kestrel

Range: North America south of the tree line, much of South America.

Habitat: Likes open spaces like farmland and prairie, but can be found in urban environments.

Diet: Mostly small birds, rodents and insects. Can hunt on the ground or in the air.

Fun Fact: Kestrels can see in the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum, tracking rodents using their urine trails!

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