Kestrels, Falcons

Home / Birds of Prey

Information

20 records

Records

American Kestrel

Total Photos: 1

The American Kestrel is also known as the Sparrow Hawk. It's a small falcon, and the only kestrel found in the America. American Kestrel is 20cm long. It is the smallest falcon in North America.

The American Kestrel hunts by hovering in the air with rapid wing beats or perching and scanning the ground for prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers, lizards, mice, and other small birds. It nests in cavities in trees, cliffs, buildings, and other structures.

Its breeding range extends from central and western Alaska across northern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south throughout North America, into central Mexico and the Caribbean. It is a local breeder in Central America and is widely distributed throughout South America. Most birds breeding in Canada and the northern United States migrate south in the winter. It is an occasional vagrant to western Europe.

At about the size of a large thrush, the American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America. Plumage has more variation between the sexes than size. Males have blue-grey wings with black spots and white undersides with black barring. The back is rufous, with barring on the lower half. The belly and flanks are white with black spotting. The tail is also rufous, with a white or rufous tip and a black subterminal band. The back and wings of the female American Kestrel are rufous with dark brown barring. The undersides of the females are creamy to buff with heavy brown streaking. The tail is noticeably different from the male's, being rufous in color with numerous narrow dark black bars. Juveniles exhibit coloration patterns similar to the adults. There are also two narrow, vertical black facial markings on each side of the head, while other falcons have one. Two black spots can be found on each side of the white or orangish nape. The function of these spots is debated, but the most commonly accepted theory is that they act as ''false eyes'', and help to protect the bird from potential attackers. The wings are moderately long, fairly narrow, and taper to a point. While the kestrel is perched, the wingtips are noticeably shorter than the tail tip.

Amur Falcon

Total Photos: 2

The Amur Falcon is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China, wintering in Southern Africa. Its diet consists mainly of insects, such as termites.

Males are characteristically dark sooty brown, and may offer confusion with melanistic Gabar Goshawk, but the chestnut on the vent should prevent confusion here. Also there may be some superficial resemblance to Sooty Falcon and Grey Kestrel, but those two species both have yellow feet and cere. Separating male Amur and Red-footed Falcons is best done by the white under-wing coverts on Amur Falcon, whereas the under-wing of male Red-footed Falcons is uniformly grey.

Females may offer a bit more confusion with a wider range of falcons as they have a typical falcon head pattern. The grey on the top of the head should quickly rule out confusion with Red-footed Falcons. The female has barring on the lower belly. Red cere and feet rule out all other falcons.

For juveniles, red feet should restrict ID to the Amur and Red-footed group, and the darker crown and lack of buff all the way up the belly rules out Western Red-footed Falcon. Females and juveniles lack the buff under-wing coverts of Red-footed Falcon.

Aplomado Falcon

Total Photos: 0

Barred Forest-Falcon

Total Photos: 0

Bat Falcon

Total Photos: 0

Collared Forest-Falcon

Total Photos: 0

Common Kestrel

Total Photos: 2

The Common Kestrel is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae.

This species occurs over a large range. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America. The Common Kestrel is small compared with other birds of prey, but larger than most songbirds. Common Kestrels measure 34 – 38 cm from head to tail, with a wingspan of 70 – 80 cm.

Eurasian Hobby

Total Photos: 2

Guadalupe Caracara

Total Photos: 0

Gyrfalcon

Total Photos: 0

Laggar Falcon

Total Photos: 1

Laughing Falcon

Total Photos: 0

Northern Crested Caracara

Total Photos: 1

The Northern Crested Caracara as it is properly known where it lives in the America. The Northern Caracara is a resident in Cuba, northern South America (south to northern Peru and northern Amazonian Brazil) and most of Central America and Mexico, just reaching the southernmost parts of the United States, including Florida, where it is resident but listed as threatened.

Orange-breasted Falcon

Total Photos: 0

Peregrine Falcon

Total Photos: 4

The peregrine falcon is a widespread bird of prey. It is a large, crow-sized falcon. It has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head and moustache. As is typical of bird-eating raptors, peregrine falcons are sexually dimorphic, females being considerably larger than males. The peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching over 389 km/h during its characteristic hunting stoop making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom.

The peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. This makes it the world's most widespread raptor and one of the most widely found bird species.

Prairie Falcon

Total Photos: 0

Red-footed Falcon

Total Photos: 0

Red-throated Caracara

Total Photos: 0

Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon

Total Photos: 0

Yellow-headed Caracara

Total Photos: 0