Can you identify this bird of prey?

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Can you identify this bird of prey?

Post by admin » Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:57 pm

o.k. picked this little guy up flopping across the dirt road yesterday in front of my car. Normally drive that road at about 30-40 km an hour, but was creeping at about 1 km an hour while trying to dial my cell phone. puff, there is this bird bouncing across the road in front of my car.

so I need a RUT number or other ID for him.
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we did a bit of dance around a blackberry bush, but finally he fell in to a small creek with steep banks where he would have drowned and kind of went to a begging for help mode. I had some leather gloves in the car and scooped him out of the water. the bigger problem was I had two dogs in the car, and was a few km from home. I dumped all my tools out of a tool box I had in the back of the car (big like 20 x 30 x20 inch tool box, and put him in). the dogs were fine with that, or really never understood what happened.

thought he had a broken wing, dont think so now. he has pretty good control over both wings, but favors one.

My best Google research has determined that he / she is a peregrine falcon (possibly a chilean hawk, which is a subspieces of the peregrine in the southern cone, kind of sort of, but markings don't match exactly to the Chilean). Still not completely certain though due to age, size, (our location), colors, and so on.

most importantly it seems it is healthy, not injured, just really young. It is toddler.

He ( hopefully she) is a toddler (with all the issues toddlers have). at 4-8 weeks or so they try to fly for their first time (it still has some of the baby feathers), fail and fall out of the nest, and than flop around like they are heart or are in distress. lots (likely most) die in this period as they can not fly, are exposed to predators, and do not know how to hunt on their own. so they still depend on mom to both be fed and learn to hunt for about the next 6-8 weeks or so. 90% die before they are 1 year old in the wild, 70% of those die before they are 5 years old.

Where I picked him up, was not a forest area. farmers fields, with scrub brush on the edge of a field, next major trees were two km at least in each direction, and not the sort of space any bird of prey would nest in. Kind of surprising he was there at all.

right now he is in the greenhouse / kincho area, which is about as good a hawk cage as i got on hand at the moment. big space (30x10x10 feet), and all that. better if it had less things for it to catch a feather on, but will do the job for the moment. most importantly it is a cat free zone and my cat has already volunteered to babysit (and the neighbor cat, and the cat after that).

I am talking to my brother, that has raised birds of all sorts for years, but more importantly has designed and sold custom bird cages (from small to two story raptor cages) of all sorts commercially for years. still sorting out the logistics of such a bird, just picked him up last night.

>> I realized today, in spite of favoring one wing a bit, it is a toddler and simply does not know how to fly. I had to teach him how to perch. an older bird would know how to do that by reflex. In the morning I would put it on a perch, it would loose its balance, and it would just fall over on its back and look at me like 'now what do I do' or otherwise sort of flop around. Finally I got it to sit on my gloved hand, and did some balance exercises. After about a half hour or so it could sit on the handle of my tool box that poles out like a perch, and seems quite happy there, moving up and down and will. at least figured out how to balance correctly on perch.
>>
>> I convinced him to eat chicken today. Even got him to sit on one gloved hand (completely passive, no aggression ), while I fed him chicken pieces with chop sticks. I had to feed him though like a mother, and kind of push it in to his mouth a way before he would start chomping down and swallowing the whole piece. Got him to a pretty good eating routine going, where he was actively searching for the next piece of chicken on the chopsticks. luckily we have several frozen chickens in the freezer, will find something more natural later. supposedly they eat more than adults at this age (about 1 to 2 quail or pigeon worth a day), but it ate at least an ounce of chicken in fairly good order twice today. considering it was the first chop stick feeding, not bad. at least he ate something under the stress of new digs. Seems water is not needed (especially with half frozen chicken slices), as they get all the water they need from their food. I am going to put a bird bath out for it anyway.

At this point interested in a confirmed identification. Keeping it healthy (talking to raptor vets through all our vet contacts), and then will sort out the long-term plan. as a friend of mine once said, "never a good time to adopt an animal. it just happens when it happens".

then also, as one falconry site put it, if you suck as an owner (fail to provide good hunting opportunities and protection), the falcon will just leave you anyway. Which, it ending up back in the wild alive and happy (hopefully a breading age) would be the ultimate end game anyway.
>>

>
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Re: Can you identify this bird of prey?

Post by admin » Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:09 am

by the way, took those photos with my phobne like 6 inches from him. other than keeping an eye on me, completely relaxed.
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Re: Can you identify this bird of prey?

Post by ExpatBob » Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:24 am

That's a Kestrel. Peregrines have a much darker back and a more solid cheek marking. Female for the lack of blue-grey wings.
http://carolinabirds.org/HTML/SA_Raptor_Falcon.htm

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Re: Can you identify this bird of prey?

Post by Donnybrook » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:01 am

He is gorgeous.

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Re: Can you identify this bird of prey?

Post by admin » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:09 am

bob, think your right.

well, anyway, going to try and get him pass the cat food stage.
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Re: Can you identify this bird of prey?

Post by peregrine77 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:02 am

Bob is correct, this little beauty is a fine specimen of a female Kestrel falcon. She also goes by the common name of Sparrow Hawk, or possibly Maria to close friends.
At age 14, my life as a falconer began at the beaches of Southern California and I have had dozens of birds in the following decades.
She does belong in the area in which you found her, open fields, as they often hover looking for small critters for a snack. This bird is not young as is obvious by the appearance of the well used talons.
She absolutely requires water constantly for drinking and some bathing, nothing worse for attracting a prospective suitor than body odor, at this stage the truth has briefly been abandoned.
Meat alone is a certain death sentence as all birds of prey must ingest bones, fur or feathers in order to "cast", daily. This is a required function to cleanse the system by coughing up a casting, which is often referred to as the " pellet of the ornithologist".
It is likely that in her focused dive for a snack she didn't look both ways before crossing the street and was possibly struck by a car giving her a slight concussion, a very common event.
The laws for possessing such a bird in the states are very strict and a stiff fine is issued without the requisite license, which is very tough to obtain.
We have yet to seek the information required for falconry here, but one can bet a metric ton of paper work and firma's are no doubt required.
Just give us a call Charles and we would be happy to drive up and assist you with your new little buddy.
All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.
Simon and Garfunkel

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Re: Can you identify this bird of prey?

Post by admin » Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:50 pm

yea, just the proper diagnosis of species solved a bunch of mysteries. I read they have tendency to get themselves in trouble when they dive as they dont always hit the breaks in time. That kind of explains how she came to be flopping around where she was.

Will correct the diet ASAP. Someone suggested introducing a small sparrow to keep her company over / for lunch. Where I have her now, the mice and various insects often visit on their own.

For the moment, she is willing to eat the chicken. In fact, I fed her a couple pieces this morning on the chop sticks, and she then hopped over to the plate on her own and finished off the rest.

She is showing all the signs of having been stunned. Now moving around the enclosure on her own, perching, feeding, and so on. Far more interactive than the first day. she seems to be using both wings, one is still a bit out of sorts, but yet to see her really flap it. Improving.

If I can confirm she can fly without trouble, she might be on her way here shortly.
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Re: Can you identify this bird of prey?

Post by admin » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:29 pm

well, our bird has left the building. she waited for lunch, and then made a break for it. she found a small hole I missed. She was in pretty high spirits today, very mobile all morning moving around the enclosure. so she was in pretty good shape anyway. Hopefully we will see her around the neighborhood. best of luck of to her.
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Re: Can you identify this bird of prey?

Post by pnv » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:27 am

Nice greenhouse!
did you build it?

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