COMMON NAME: American Kestrel
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Falco sparverius
The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America. They are widely distributed across the continent and can be found in many different habitats, including parks, suburbs, opened fields, forest edges, alpine zones, and deserts. Kestrels feed on insects which they catch either on the ground or in the air. They will also eat small rodents and birds.
Males have a rusty back, blue wings and a rusty-colored tail with a black terminal band. Females have rusty wings, back, and tail, all marked with black. American Kestrels will use holes in trees or small spaces in buildings for nests. Both males and females incubate the eggs which hatch about 30 days after being laid. Three to five young are often hatched. They grow very quickly, assuming adult weight in about 2.5 weeks and fledging about a month after hatching.
There are estimated to be 1.2 million breeding pairs in North America.