American Kestrel

Falco sparverius
American kestral is the smallest Refuge falcon/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

The Kestrel is an uncommon permanent resident in the Refuge during spring, summer and fall. It is rarely seen in winter. It is a possible nester in the Refuge, but no breeding confirmation exists at this time. It may be seen sitting on the power lines in the Tarlatt Unit and in several places along State Route 101.  The Kestrel nests in cavities. It will use the nesting sites of other raptors or large woodpeckers. It tends to forage in the early morning and evening in summer for large insects such as grasshoppers. In winter it hunts during the day for small animals, amphibians and small birds.

Find out more about kestrels... 

Facts About American Kestrel

Smallest hawk in North America

Most common falcon in North America

Nestlings squirt poop on the sides of the nest to keep it off themselves