#466 American Kestrel – Falco sparverius

14 June

The smallest and most common falcon in North America. It has a roughly two-to-one range in size over subspecies and sex, varying in size from about the weight of a blue jay to a mourning dove.

usually hunts in energy-conserving fashion by perching and scanning the ground for prey to ambush, though it also hunts from the air. It sometimes hovers in the air with rapid wing beats while homing in on prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers and other insects, lizards, mice, and small birds (e.g. sparrows). This broad diet has contributed to its wide success as a species. It nests in cavities in trees, cliffs, buildings, and other structures. The female lays three to seven eggs, which both sexes help to incubate.

Its breeding range extends from central and western Alaska across northern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south throughout North America, into central Mexico and the Caribbean. It is a local breeder in Central America and is widely distributed throughout South America. Most birds breeding in Canada and the northern United States migrate south in the winter. It is an occasional vagrant to western Europe.

(*Image from Wikipedia)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *