American Kestrel

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At only 9 inches long, the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) aka "sparrowhawk", is North America’s smallest and most colorful falcon. The male and female look similar, but the male is more colorful, with blue on his wings and head. Like all raptors, the female is larger than the male.

Found in meadows, fields, and open grassland, American Kestrels are often seen perched on a wire or fencepost, hunting for small insects and mammals such as grasshoppers, mice, voles, and occasionally small birds.

Kestrels are cavity nesters, using an old woodpecker hole or bird house for their 4-6 eggs. Around May, the eggs hatch and both parents incubate their eggs and feed the young. These elegant raptors have a limited number of calls, and the most familiar is this high-pitched kee!