American kestrel

Violet

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violet american kestrel
Quick facts: 
  • Hatch year 2012
  • Weight: 115 grams
  • Found near Superior, Wisconsin
  • Fractured right coracoid and elbow trauma
  • Injured in collision with vehicle
  • Female

Violet was admitted to The Raptor Center’s clinic in August of her hatch year, 2012. This timing means she was not out of her nest cavity for more than a few weeks. She was unable to fly after a collision with a vehicle. In addition to a fractured right coracoid, she also had trauma to her right elbow and was
dehydrated.

Violet’s name refers to a very unique adaptation that American kestrels might have, as referenced in several professional papers, to assist in finding their prey. Mice and small rodents are a part of a kestrel’s diet. These mammals will often leave a urine trail that could reflect ultraviolet (UV) light. A visual pigment in the cones of kestrels’ retinas absorbs UV light, perhaps allowing them to see this part of the spectrum.