American Kestrel
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American Kestrel Photo American Kestrel Photo American Kestrel Photo
American Kestrel Photo American Kestrel Photo

General description.

The American Kestrel is the smallest and easily most colorful falcon in North America. The American Kestrel is most often found perched and searching for the rodents and insects on which it feeds. American Kestrels can also be seen hovering while searching for food. American Kestrels are attracted to bird feeders on occasion; not for the seeds in the feeders, but for the other birds! During the breeding season, the male American Kestrel brings food to the female and feeds her in midair. The American Kestrel nests in trees and on cliffs but will also nest in buildings and, frequently, birdhouses designed with American Kestrels in mind. The Northeastern US population has seen some decline, but other than the populations are stable and this bird is common.

Female appearance.

The female American Kestrel does not have blue wings like the male does. Her wings are brown with black streaks. She has a brown tail with black steaks as well whereas the male has a black tail. The back is also brown with black bars. The chest of the female is creamy with light brown streaks.

Flight pattern.

Direct with several rapid wing beats followed by a glide. This bird often hovers on rapidly beating wings.

Breeding habits.


Calls or song.

klee-klee-klee or killy, killy, killy

Population and distribution.


Nesting habits.

The American Kestrel nests in trees, dead trees, birdhouses, buildings, and cliffs and lays 3-7 white or pale pink eggs in April.
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