American kestrel

American kestrel

Latin name: Falco sparverius

The Smallest American Falcon!

  • It is the continent's most colourful and smallest bird of prey with an average weight of under 150 g. Because of its size, it mainly eats large insects, small birds and small rodents. 
  • It is one of the rare birds that can manoeuvre to stay in place while in flight, just like a helicopter, thanks to its sickle-shaped wings. Otherwise, it can reach flight speeds of 40 to 60 km/hr. 
  • It is one of the rare birds of prey species where sexual dimorphism can be observed between the male and female: the male's wings are blue-gray while the female is completely brown. 
  • This species likes to vocalize. Its name is derived from crécelle, an Old French synonym for "rattle", referring to the sound of its cry. 
  • Preferring open areas, deforestation is advantageous to this bird. Its populations have greatly increased almost everywhere on the continent. In Québec, it has the status of protected species.
  • Distribution

    The Americas

  • Habitat

    Prairies

  • Diet

    Carnivore

  • Status

    Least concern

  • Zoo Zone

    Not visible