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Shades of Gray

Daily Bird of Prey Showcase: The American Kestrel

No Comments 24 April 2012

The American kestrel is the smallest of the falcon family and can be found throughout the Americas although they are most commonly found in the U.S.  No matter where in the Americas they reside most decide to spend their summers in Canada banging their brains out in hopes the kestrel name will go on forever.
These magnificent birds are known to be of the most colorful in the falcon genus.  The males have a blue head and wings with red, orange and brown making up their backs and tail feathers.  The females tend to be less colorful, mostly red and brown, but they make up for their lack of colorful creativity with size.  The average female kestrel can bench press 225 lbs which is nearly double the average bench press of the kestrel male.  Due to this phenomenon the males can primarily be found cleaning the nest and running errands.
These birds although small show great hunting prowess.  Kestrels feast on large insects, mice, voles, lizards and they will never pass on a handful of cheez-it crackers.  In the Pacific Northwest they have also been known to enjoy white wine spritzers on the weekends.

For the most part kestrels tend to reside in hollowed out trees but they have been known to steal nests from birds their size.  They are highly adaptable to different climates which is why they can be found throughout the Americas.  So, the next time you are in the Americas and think you see a kestrel and want to say “HI” remember, in their free time they like not being killed by humans and larger birds of prey.


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