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Meet the American Kestrel
- Scientific name: Falco sparverius.
- Formerly known as Sparrow Hawk.
- The smallest, most numerous, and most widespread North American falcon.
- The only kestrel species that occurs in the Western Hemisphere.
- Contains seventeen recognized subspecies.
- Sexually dichromatic, meaning males and females have different plumages. Males have blue-gray wings, females have rufous wings. Tails also differ, the male showing a rufous tail with a black subterminal band, females show a rufous tail with black bars across the length of the tail.
- Often seen in open areas with short ground vegetation.
- Hunts by perching on limbs, fences, or wires or hovering if perch sites are limited.
- Captures arthropods and small mammals on the ground, insects and small birds in flight.
- Nests in natural cavities or those made by woodpeckers. Availability of suitable cavities may limit numbers in certain areas of breeding range; they will readily take to nest boxes.