American kestrel (Falco sparverius)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION:

  • Length: 8.5 inches Wingspan: 21 inches

  • Short, dark, hooked beak

  • small, long-tailed hawk

  • Long, narrow, pointed wings

  • Gray crown

  • White cheeks

  • Two black mustache marks

  • Black spot at rear of crown on both sides

  • Seen from below, flight feathers are pale with dark barring

  • Juveniles and immature females like adult female

Adult male:

  • Rust patch on crown

  • Rust nape, breast, back and tail

  • Rust tail has a broad black subterminal band and a narrow white term-         inal band

  • Pale belly

  • Blue-gray wing coverts

  • Dark flight feathers with pale subterminal spots creating a "string of        pearls"

  • Black spots on scapulars, wing coverts and flanks

Adult female:

  • Pale buff breast streaked with brown

  • Rust-brown nape, back and wing coverts

  • Back and wing coverts barred heavily with black

  • Rust-brown tail with numerous dark bars of even width and an arrow        white terminal band

Immature male:

  • Barred rust-brown back barred heavily with black

  • Streaked breast

Similar species:

Sharp-shinned hawk is of similar size, but has rounded wings and much
different patterning. Merlin is larger with broader-based wings, lacks
rust tones to back and wing coverts, has a single mustache mark and
strongly checkered underwings.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status: Short distance migrant
Breeding Habitat: N/A
Nest Location: N/A
Nest Type: Cavity
Clutch Size: 3-5
Length of Incubation: 29-31 days
Days to Fledge: 30-31
Number of Broods: 1, 2 in south, when prey abundant
Diet: Mostly insects, small mammals.

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
C
      Su - Summer: June, July, August C
      Fall: September, October, November C

      Winter: December, January, February C

 

 

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