Well, I suppose I'll go ahead an introduce everyone to Goliath, my new charge for the season. He is the passage male that we pulled off the trap about a week ago. I didn't have any pictures of him then and was just waiting until I got some good ones of him settled at home before I posted about him, I just kept forgetting to take them!
Not a whole lot to report, he's doing great. He weighed in at 109g off the trap and was around 93g 24 hours later. He's pretty much held that weight and is responding well inside. When weight reduction does happen he's gonna be a killer!
I had to choose between him and a passage female and was kind of agonizing over the choice but seeing how all I'm after is sparrows and starlings and Hayduke more than proved that males can take both I wasn't too concerned about size. He showed quite a bit of attitude off the trap whereas the female just kind of laid there so despite the outside talon on his right foot that looks like it either didn't fully develop or was damaged at one point, I decided that I'd go with the attitude. Plus, I think males make for better pictures! :-)
I think he's one of the prettiest kestrels I've had:
Here he is snagging a grasshopper in our bathroom last night:
I like my birds to know that they still have to kill their own food even if, at this point, it's just a grasshopper. He's figured out that if he comes back to me after the hopper he gets to fill up on starling breast afterwards. Like I said, progressing nicely. If all goes as planned we could be hunting by the end of the month!
It's gonna be a fun season! (It always is...)