Well, it is that time of year again. Summer camps are coming to an end and kids are gearing back up for the school year. This year, our Education Team celebrated the end of a successful camp season by partnering with Raptor Rehab to release two rescued and rehabbed American Kestrels! These kestrels, named George and Grace, were found as chicks without a mother. They were taken to Raptor Rehab where they were safely raised until they were old enough to survive alone in the wild.
Kestrels are the smallest bird in the raptor family, measuring only slightly larger than many songbirds. Kestrels are classified as a raptor because they eat a carnivorous diet, mostly made up of insects, small rodents, and other small birds. In order to successfully hunt and locate their prey, kestrels (and raptors in general) must have three distinct characteristics: 1) a hooked beak, 2) long claws, or talons, and 3) good eyesight.
Raptor Rehab has been a fixture in wild animal rescue in the state of Kentucky and often partners with The Parklands to participate in park events and outdoor education programs! Raptor Rehab takes in raptors that are sick and injured, as well as raptor chicks. They then care for the birds until they are fully-grown or nursed back to health with the eventual goal of wild release! If you ever find an injured, sick, or abandoned raptor, you can call Raptor Rehab at 502-491-1939.
Are you interested in seeing a kestrel? They are most commonly found in natural areas with large open spaces such as meadows, grasslands, farm fields, and parks, which means that The Parklands is a wonderful place to spot these raptors! Take a stroll through the Humana Grand Allee or the Black Willow trail in Beckley Creek Park or head to the southernmost section of the Louisville Loop in Broad Run Park to spot a small, but ferocious, Kestrel! Check out the video below to see the release of George and Grace the American Kestrels in Beckley Creek Park!