During the entire month of November, the Minnesota Zoo​ will be sharing stories of the many rescued and rehabilitated animals that we care for. All of our animals receive amazing care from zoo staff, volunteers and community members. All of this work is made possible because of YOUR amazing support – thank you! Check back daily as we feature a new story from around the Zoo.

Two kestrels, part of the Close Encounters family, came to the Minnesota Zoo from Utah. The male, who came Kestrels2from the Great Basin Wildlife Rescue, was originally found injured with falconry equipment on – in the front grill of a car. He had a fractured right humerus. Unfortunately, he wasn’t brought into rehab right away and the injury – a fractured right humerus – calcified, resulting in a permanent injury. Although he can’t fully extend his wing and can’t fly, he educates Zoo guests on his species through on-site presentations. The female kestrel was an imprinted bird after being kept as a pet. After going to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, she came to the Minnesota Zoo.

Did you know? Although American kestrels are the smallest falcons in the country, they are fierce predators. Roughly the size of a mourning dove, they are colorful – and males and females both have markings on the sides of their faces sometimes referred to as “sideburns.” Because their population is declining in some areas, people can help them by putting up nest boxes.

Visiting the Minnesota Zoo soon? Be sure to check out the variety of Close Encounters happening throughout the Zoo everyday. They vary each day so stop by the Guest Services Desk for the complete list of daily activities.