We  received  these  two  American  Kestrels  as
young  nestlings.  A child  brought them home and
told  his  mother  they  were "ducks".  The mother
called us and we  went over  not expecting  to see
    Kestrels.  The  child  refused  to  tell  us  or  his
    mother where he  had  found  the  birds, so  we
    brought  the  downy   nestlings  to  WAIF  and
    raised them. Eventually, they were  placed in an
    outdoor  pen,  learned  to  hunt  mice and were
    released. (Incidentally, both birds are males.)


At WAIF, we do not use  any falconry  methods with  our raptors.  Instead  when young
birds need to learn to hunt rodents, we put the mice and rats in Farmaster tanks. To keep
the rodents comfortable, we place hay in the  tanks along with  dishes of  food and water.

We do not use falconry methods to exercise our recovering raptors. Instead of a creance
which can cause damage to birds' legs,  we allow our birds to  fly freely in large outdoor
pens. In this way,  we can judge progress by observing how the bird flies, banks left and
right and lands on a perch.

In addition, we never  place different  species of  raptors in  a  common pen.  In the  wild
these  birds  are natural  enemies,  therefore,  placing  them  all  together  is  a  very  poor

Many rehab people use road-killed animals as a source of food for raptors. We do not as
those bodies cantain pathogenic bacteria that would be lethal to our already-compromised