By Dominic Sherony (American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Dominic Sherony (American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

North American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Range
Throughout North America.

Size
Length          8-12 inches
Wingspan     20-24 inches
Weight          3-6 ounces

Habitat
Near meadows, farms, fields, parks.

Diet
Varied; mice, voles, small birds, beetles, grasshoppers, snakes, etc.

Characteristics
Small, blue and cinnamon falcon long, pointed wings and two bold mustache marks. The smallest and most common of the North American falcons. Often sit on exposed perches such as telephone lines, where they watch for prey while flicking their tail up and down. Cavity nesters; prefer to use natural cavities found in dead trees or cliffs, but will use man-made nest boxes. Capable of "kiting," or holding position in the wind when looking for prey on the ground. Have a loud alarm call, which they use when agitated.

Only "sexually dimorphic" North American raptor: adult males and females have different colored plumage (males have slate blue wings and females have brown).


Meet RCV's resident education North American Kestrels - Little Guy and Chibi!