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American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) Male with Dinner



American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) Male with Dinner American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) Male American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) male
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Class: Aves
Family: Falconidae
Common Name: American Kestrel
Genus: Falco
Species Name: sparverius

About The American Kestrel

The smallest falcon in North America (9-12 inches), the American Kestrel is most easily identified by its small size, rufous-brown tail, and rufous-brown back with dark horizontal bars. Other field marks include a white throat, white cheeks, and a slate-blue head with a rufous crown. Male American Kestrels have slate-blue wings, while females are larger and have rufous wings. The American Kestrel breeds across a wide portion of North America from Alaska and Canada to central Mexico. In winter, American Kestrels withdraw from northern portions of their range, wintering from the north-central United States south to Panama. Many American Kestrels in southern portions of this species’ breeding range are non-migratory, as are other populations in Central America, the West Indies, and South America. American Kestrels inhabit a number of open habitats, including grasslands, fields, meadows, and urban areas, that provide cavities for nesting as well as open areas for hunting. This species utilizes similar habitat types in winter as in summer, although nesting cavities are not necessary in that season. American Kestrels eat a variety of small animals, including insects, small birds, and rodents. Due to this species’ preference for open habitat, American Kestrels may be most easily seen perched prominently, perhaps in a tree or on a utility pole, while watching for prey. This species may also be observed hunting, when it may be seen pursuing and capturing prey with its talons. American Kestrels are primarily active during the day.



Rights Holder: Unknown
Bibliographic Citation: Rumelt, Reid B. Falco sparverius. June-July 2012. Brief natural history summary of Falco sparverius. Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.

Trips Where Observed

Brazil
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Mexico to Panama
Mexico, Baja California Sur
Mexico, Nayarit
Mexico, Veracruz
Moving the Car
Peru
Puerto Rico
San Francisco 2007

Member Lifelists

California
Europe
Illinois
Mexico
North America
San Francisco
South America
United States
World

Sites Where Observed

Location
Date
Notes
11/17/2006
2/18/2009
Not 100% sure
9/9/2012
Did not get a great look at the kestrel, and it could have been another type of falcon.
8/30/2016
9/7/2016

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