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American Kestrel

The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America. Like all falcons, kestrels have large heads, notched beaks, and “heavy shouldered” streamlined bodies. American kestrels are sexually dimorphic which means the males and females look different. They obtain their adult plumage at 1 year. Both sexes are slightly larger than robins but females are 10-15% larger than males.

Kestrels hunt for insects and other small prey in open fields, kestrels perch on wires or poles, or hover facing into the wind, flapping and adjusting their long tails to stay in place. Kestrels are declining in parts of their range for a variety of human caused reasons.

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