American Kestrel

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae


  • Size: 8.7″ to 12.2″
  • Small falcon with a small head, long and pointed wings, and a long square-tipped tail.
  • Pale underside with dark spots and a black bar at the tip of the tail.
  • Males’ wings are slate-blue, while females’ wings are red-brown.
  • Both have black, vertical lines on the sides of the face.
  • Calls consist of a series of 3-6 “klee” or “killy” sounds.
  • Insects
  • Other Invertebrates
  • Small Rodents
  • Small Birds

Paul Marvin, XC451207. Accessible at

Resident to long-distance migrant.

  • One of the smallest birds of prey, American Kestrels end up as prey for larger birds as well as some snakes.
  • Kestrels use their ultraviolet light vision to track their prey by following the urine trails.