Bird's the word: Twins' kestrel gaining fame

Bird's the word: Twins' kestrel gaining fame

The bird of prey that captured the attention of the crowd at last week's Orioles-Twins game has left fans buzzing in the Twin Cities.

Late in last Thursday night's contest, the bird, which has been identified as a male American Kestrel, sat atop the right-field foul pole. Amid the falling rain and the Orioles shutting out the Twins, fans quickly took notice of the kestrel swooping through the air and catching insects that were attracted to the bright lights.

The bird's actions were even captured by the video scoreboard, further exciting the crowd.

Julia Ponder, executive director of the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota, identified the bird as a kestrel in an interview with the Associated Press. Though there is a wooded area not far from Target Field, the bird's presence is still a little shocking, according to Ponder.

"To me it's a little surprising the kestrel is hunting amid all of that," Ponder said. "Even when the crowd was cheering, it didn't seem to impact the kestrel at all. It just seemed to keep doing its thing."

The bird, the antics of which provided some in-game entertainment for fans, was spotted again at the ballpark over the weekend, Ponder said.

"He obviously found a good hunting ground," Kevin Smith, the Twins' executive director of public affairs, told the AP.

The Twins' flying friend has continued to attract fan attention since its debut. The kestrel's few minutes of fame were captured by Fox Sports North, which has shown the footage several times since. Broadcasters Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven even broke down the bird's assault on the insects.

Someone even created a Twitter account for "Kirby the Kestrel," with one post identifying the bird as "Minneapolis moth's biggest nightmare."

Bailey Stephens is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.