In Memory of Katie the Kestrel
We lost Katie last month. It was unexpected and we will all miss her terribly. She was such a sweet and remarkable bird.
Katie and I had a history together beginning with the first day in her mew. A teammate found her on the ground, lying on her side obviously close to death. We eventually found out that she was “playing possum”. She was a young bird and this was her way of dealing with fear and stress.
A couple of months later, Kathy Magana and I took her to Bixler Lake in Kendallville for a fundraiser being put on by Lucky Harley Davidson. The bikers were on a “Raptor Run” with a couple of stops before ours. We were to be at the lake by 10am. When we arrived, we went to retrieve Katie from her travel carrier. There she was, on the floor of her carrier, lying on her side, near death. The bikers were running late and, it turned out, we had three hours before they arrived. We revived Katie, got her properly perched on Kathy’s hand and let her become comfortable with her surroundings. By the time the bikers arrived, she was strutting her stuff like a pro. The funny thing is that until the end, she would never perch in the travel carrier. We always had to scoop her up in the palm of our hand. We had a saying for this,” Katie is just being Katie”!
During her second spring with us, she became a foster mother. We had taken in several orphaned Kestrels, a by-product of a severe storm. When Katie was put in the mew with the babies, she immediately became very protective of them and then began feeding them. She fostered them until they were old enough to be released to the wild. She was a very dedicated, loving mother.
Rest in peace, Katie. You were one of a kind!