Draper Museum Raptor Experience
Salem: American kestrel
About the Bird:
Salem is a male American Kestrel that hatched between approximately 2008 and 2010. He was found near Salem, Utah, after puncturing his right eye somehow. Due to his limited vision, he can’t capture prey by himself or avoid larger predators.
General Species Info:
American Kestrels are found throughout most of North, Central, and South America.
American Kestrels favor open areas with short ground vegetation and sparse trees. You’ll find them in meadows, grasslands, deserts, parks, farm fields, cities, and suburbs. When breeding, kestrels need access to at least a few trees or structures that provide appropriate nesting cavities. American Kestrels are attracted to many habitats modified by humans, including pastures and parkland, and are often found near areas of human activity including towns and cities.
American Kestrels eat mostly insects, as well as small rodents and birds. Common foods include grasshoppers, cicadas, beetles, and dragonflies; scorpions and spiders; butterflies and moths; voles, mice, shrews, bats, and small songbirds. American Kestrels also sometimes eat small snakes, lizards, and frogs.
Notes from Staff:
Salem is very animated. He is always looking about and ready for anything. He is especially good for talon trimmings, though, and sits still on the glove while staff give him a tiny pedicure. He is now retired from regular programming as he is most likely quite old.