Our Birds: Artemis

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A.K.A.: Arty, Smartemis

Species: American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Sex: Female

Hatched: 2009

Arrived: 2009

Condition: Human Imprint (illegally raised by people)

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Her Story

Artemis cane to us from the Toronto Wildlife Centre in 2009. She had been turned in with very little explanation, but the story quickly became clear. Artemis had no physical injuries, no fear of people, and no flight feathers - her wing and tail feathers had all been broken off, likely on the bars of a cage that was too small.

Kestrels are undeniably cute, and their cuteness can be their downfall. Artemis was almost certainly stolen from her nest as an egg or a chick, and kept as a pet. Not only is this illegal, but it dooms the bird to a life in captivity (or worse), as it robs them of the ability to survive in the wild.

Artemis has been a fantastic addition to our program, and is a tiny package full of energy and noise! Her feisty attitude and streamlined good looks make her the perfect demonstration of falcon biology, and a hit with audiences everywhere. Her story also conveys an important message about leaving wildlife in the wild.

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: North America's smallest falcon, weighing about the same as a chocolate bar!

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