What is a Kestrel?

What is a Kestrel?

“They can hover in the air with rapid wingbeats, which is a distinctive hunting technique.”

As an avid birdwatcher, American Kestrels are a favorite, because they are very colorful and they hover like a drone which is the inspiration for the business name.

The American kestrel (Falco sparverius) is a small and colorful falcon species found throughout North and South America. It’s the smallest falcon in North America and is often recognized by its distinctive appearance and behavior.

Key characteristics of the American Kestrel include:

Size: They are typically about the size of a mourning dove, measuring around 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) in length with a wingspan of about 20 to 24 inches (50 to 61 centimeters).

Coloration: Male and female kestrels display different plumage. Males typically have vibrant colors, including blue-gray wings, a rufous back, and a rusty tail with black barring. Females have a similar pattern but with more brownish tones.

Habitat: They inhabit a variety of open habitats such as grasslands, agricultural areas, deserts, and urban areas. They are often seen perched on wires, fences, or poles scanning for prey.

Diet: American kestrels primarily feed on insects such as grasshoppers, dragonflies, and small mammals like mice, voles, and occasionally small birds. They hunt by hovering in the air before diving down to catch prey on the ground.

Behavior: These falcons are known for their acrobatic flight. They can hover in the air with rapid wingbeats, which is a distinctive hunting technique. They are also quite vocal, producing various calls and screams.

Breeding: American kestrels nest in cavities, often using abandoned woodpecker holes or nest boxes. They lay a clutch of eggs, and both parents participate in raising the chicks.

The American kestrel is a resilient species that has adapted well to various environments. However, like many birds of prey, they face threats such as habitat loss, pesticide exposure, and collisions with vehicles or structures.

They are also popular among falconers due to their manageable size and are sometimes used in falconry. Additionally, they play a vital role in controlling insect and rodent populations, contributing to the balance of their ecosystems