California Raptor Center temporarily closed to the public

APOLLO: American kestrel

apollo the american kestrel

Apollo, our CRC American Kestrel was found near intersecting county roads in the vicinity of Woodland. He may have been hit by a car and a caring citizen rescued him and brought him to the California Raptor Center on November 11, 2017. His right wing was severely injured and he suffered from a badly dislocated shoulder. As a result he cannot fly and can therefore not be released back to the wild where he would need strong flight, good balance and ability to hover and dive for food.

Apollo is now at home in a good-sized enclosure in the visitor area. He shares this housing with non-releasable Western Screech Owls that sleep in the daytime and become active at night. Apollo is very active in the daytime and claims a high perch in the small tree growing in the center of the space. Visitors often see him jumping from branch to branch and even climbing up the trunk of the tree from the ground using his needle sharp talons as climbing cleats. He is both agile and energetic.

 His plumage is colorful as befits a male American Kestrel. His striking blue-grey coloring on head and wings, his rusty red tail feathers and the two black malar stripes on his white face make him fairly easy to spot even when he’s hidden by leaves—this is especially so when he flutters his good wing and flits by jumping about or rouses to fluff his breast feathers into a spotted puff.

Visitors seem quite captivated by this tiny, colorful and fascinating falcon.