American Kestrel

(Falco sparverius)

Don’t let it’s small size fool you, the American Kestrel, smallest of North America’s falcons, is an energetic, intense and fierce little predator. This raptor’s plumage makes it one of the most colorful amongst all birds of prey. Kestrels can often be seen perched on poles, wires or signs where the prey on a diet mostly of insects but will hunt rodents and small birds as well. Hovering is an additional way these raptors hunt by facing up wind adjusting their long extended tails and flapping wings.

However being small has its price too and often ends up as prey to larger raptors like Red-tailed hawks Cooper’s Hawks and Barn Owls.

Information from the All About Birds website,, © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.