Kestrel loses ability to fly, learns to paint in Vermont

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Oct. 20 (UPI) -- An American kestrel at a Vermont museum lost his ability to fly -- but has found a new calling as an artist.

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee said the bird, named Ferrisburgh in honor of the town where he was rescued, was a flight ambassador at the museum before a broken bone forced him into retirement.


Mal Muratori and Lexie Smith, environmental educators at the museum, said Ferrisburgh's bone break is believed to be the result disease brought on by the poor diet he received after being raised as an illegal pet.

Smith said she had the idea of using painting for the now-flightless Ferrisburgh's enrichment after seeing a similar demonstration at the American Eagle Foundation in Tennessee.

The educators use mealworms to get the bird to run across his canvass with paint on his feet, creating works of art in the process.

Ferrisburgh now leads painting classes at the institute for people of all ages interested in learning about birds.

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