Distribution: Range includes the majority of North America, extending down through Mexico and parts of the Caribbean. They are also found throughout South America with exception of the rainforest regions.
Size:American Kestrels are the smallest falcons in the United States, ranging from 8-12 inches in length with a wingspan of nearly 2 feet. Kestrels have a mass of 2.8-5.8 ounces. Females are generally larger than the males and lack the blue-gray on their wings.
Diet:These small falcons feed on insects, small mammals, reptiles, some amphibians, and small birds.
Lifespan: In the wild, the average lifespan of an American Kestrel falls between 2 and 7 years.
Reproduction:American Kestrels nest in pre-existing cavities in trees, buildings, or nest boxes. Average clutch size is 4-5 eggs. Eggs are incubated by both the male and the female for 30 days. After 2 ½ weeks, the young reach adult weight, and fledge after 1 month.
Did You Know?
- The American Kestrel is not only the smallest American falcon, it is also the most common and most colorful raptor found in North America today.
- Kestrels can be distinguished by the distinct dark stripes on their heads.
- When conditions are right, American Kestrels can hover in stationary flight before diving in to capture prey.