|Bird Cams Around the World
|ABOUT THE AMERICAN KESTREL
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|Author:||Catbird [ Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:27 pm ]|
|Post subject:||ABOUT THE AMERICAN KESTREL|
BASIC INFORMATION ON AMERICAN KESTRELS
Here's some basic information on American Kestrels from the Xcel Energy Kestrel Cam site at Pawnee Station in Boulder, Colorado (http://birdcam.xcelenergy.com/kestrel.html#facts).
* They are raptors - birds of prey.
* As their name implies, they are found in the Americas, both North and South. Their habitat includes farm areas, prairies, wooded streams and deserts.
* American Kestrels are frequently seen along roadsides, perched on utility poles. They need a perch to hunt and have the ability to hover, with their wings flapping, something other falcons don’t do. They also are speedy and can fly as fast as 40 mph.
* For years they were called sparrow hawks. They were renamed because they are not true hawks, and are rarely called sparrow hawks anymore.
* American Kestrels don’t make their own nests, but rely on empty magpie nests, cavities and holes in trees or cactus, nest boxes and niches in buildings.
* Females will lay three to five, whitish, spotted eggs that require an incubation of about 28-29 days. Young kestrels will be ready to leave the nest 4-5 weeks after hatching.
* They eat small rodents and insects, but also have been known to eat amphibians, snakes, other birds and worms.
* The American Kestrel is the smallest species of falcon found in the Americas. Full-grown male kestrels weigh only about 4 ounces and measure 9 to 12 inches in length. Females are generally larger than males.
* They don’t seem to dislike the cold and may winter over in their home territory while other birds are migrating south.
DISTINGUISHING MALE & FEMALE AMERICAN KESTRELS
The male American kestrel has an almost solid chestnut-brown back, while the female's back is a darker brown with lots of streaks. Here's a picture of the chicks from the first Nebraska clutch of 2009...a male is on the right, and two females are on the left.
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