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American Kestrel

American Kestrel

(Falco sparverius)


(wingspan: 20’’-24’’) American Kestrels are North America’s smallest falcon. They have a white face and the top of their head is blue-gray with a rusty spot on the crown. Black vertical facial markings come down their face from their eyes. Females are rust colored on their backs and wings with black horizontal bands going across all the way down their tail. Their chest is buffy with brown streaks. Males have a rusty back with black spots and slate blue on their wings. Their tail has one band of black on the very tip. Their chest is buffy with black spots. The juveniles have the same plumage as the adults.


Kestrels prey on insects, small rodents, songbirds, small amphibians, reptiles and, occasionally, small bats.


These falcons can be found in Colorado year-round.


The American Kestrel does not build a nest, it finds cavities and crevices in trees, buildings, rock, or man-made boxes. The female will lay four to five eggs per brood and the young will fledge the nest in about four weeks.

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