The American Kestrel is North America’s smallest and most widespread falcon. This pocket-sized bird of prey is extremely adaptable as she can be found anywhere in the Western Hemisphere from Alaska to the tip of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
The most colorful of all the raptors, she is distinguished by brown wings as opposed to the male’s beautiful slate blue. Perceiving her identity is practically unmistakable while she’s perched on a small pine scanning the grassland for her favorite food; grasshoppers.
She owes much of her success to a broad diet that includes almost any insect, lizards, snakes, mice and voles. She’s a ferocious predator that has the ability to take red squirrels and small birds especially sparrows while still on the wing.
She’s the fearless matriarch of a tight-knit group as both parents are equally active in rearing the young. Often, the whole family will go out on a hunting foray as it’s an effective way to teach the fledglings how to stalk prey.
American Kestrels nest in cavities but they lack the ability to excavate their own. They rely on old woodpecker holes, natural tree hollows, rock crevices, and nooks in buildings and other human-built structures.
With plenty of available resources, this sparrow hawk is a permanent resident of the Rocky Mountains. Colorado is her home and she’ll spend her entire life here, flourishing happily even during the region’s cold and snowy winter.
Despite her small size, this little bird is a courageous warrior so don’t dismiss her diminutive nature. When it comes to the physical attributes necessary to survive in this crazy world, I’d take her heart over height any day.
|The smallest and most widespread falcon|
|A colorful raptor|
|Scanning the grassland|
|A ferocious predator|
|A fearless matriarch|
|The sparrow hawk|
|A permanent resident|
|A courageous warrior|
|Heart over height|