American Kestrel, the Sparrow Hawk

American Kestrel with mouse

American Kestrel with mouse, photo by Kevin Povenz

The American Kestrel entry at Wikipedia says:

The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), sometimes colloquially known as the Sparrow Hawk, is a small falcon, and the only kestrel found in the Americas. It is the most common falcon in North America, and is found in a wide variety of habitats. At 19–21 centimeters (7–8 in) long, it is also the smallest falcon in North America. It exhibits sexual dimorphism in size and plumage, although both genders have a rufous back with noticeable barring. Juveniles are similar in plumage to adults.

The American Kestrel hunts by hovering in the air with rapid wing beats or perching and scanning the ground for prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers, lizards, mice, and other small birds. It nests in cavities in trees, cliffs, buildings, and other structures. The female lays three to seven eggs, which both sexes help to incubate. It is a common bird to be used in falconry, especially by beginners.

All About Birds adds that it’s perhaps the most colorful raptor in the world, Wing over to their American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) page for photos, kestrel calls & more info.

More birds on Michigan in Pictures.

Check it out on black and see more in Kevin’s amazing Birds of Prey slideshow.

Many more Michigan Birds on Michigan in Pictures!

2 thoughts on “American Kestrel, the Sparrow Hawk

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