Gr. phalkon falcon
La. falcula, falcis small sickle
(representing their talons)
La. forma form, shape, kind
La. sparverius sparrows
(for their prey)
Smallest of the American falcons, ten or eleven inches long.
John L. Ridgeway,
Upper parts chestnut red; wings and lower part of back
barred; top of head head slate blue; black patches beneath the eyes and
behind the ears; brown barred white-tipped tail; under parts buff white with
black spots on the sides.
Ranges throughout North America and northern South America in forests, open prairies,
farms, towns and cities.
|It builds no nest, but deposits its eggs in the
natural or abandoned cavities of high trees, deserted magpie nests, in rock crevices and
stone quarries, in holes high in river banks, or nooks in buildings on farms and often in
cities in places like church steeples.
Lays around four or five speckled eggs of
varying colors which hatch after about four weeks of incubation and young leave the nest
after about another four weeks.
Eats mostly mice and insects such as grasshoppers and
spiders. Also eats snakes, lizards, small birds and rodents.
Early studies by ornithologists revealed
that Kestrels take few birds when insects and mice are abundant and concluded this diet is
beneficial to humans.
It does not soar high like its hawk
cousins. With its incredibly keen eyesight it scans a broad landscape from a high perch
where it can spot game from further away than seems possible or it flies swiftly and
gracefully near the ground.
When it spots
something it hovers motionless in mid air waiting for the right opportunity, suddenly
swooping down to the ground, then arising with its prey in its talons.
The Kestrel Nestbox (below, same as for Eastern Screech Owl, Western
Screech Owl and Barrow's Goldeneye) has a 8" by 8" floor, 15" inside
ceiling, 3" diameter entrance hole located 12" above the floor and
ventilation openings. Assembled with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled
countersunk pilot holes. Hinged roof is secured with shutter hooks for easy access.
Mount at the edge of a forest area or on a post in an open area in a rural or city yard
between twelve and twenty feet high. Place some wood chips on the floor. Squirrels may use
Kestrel Nest Boxes