Fledging Kestrel

Shot through a window but this fledgling baby American kestrel (Falco sparverius) was found hanging onto the window sill of a window at my old house near Shoshone, Idaho. The wind had blown a piece of trim off the eve of the house and it was not long before a pair of Kestrels had taken up residence. They returned every year for at least 8 years that I can think of. I loved having these birds of prey on my property!

The American kestrel is the smallest and most common falcon in North America. To save energy it usually hunts by perching and scanning the ground for prey to ambush. It also hunts from the air. It can hover in the air with rapid wing beats while homing in on prey. I remember that when I would get too close to the nest they would hover about 6 feet over your head screeching loudly warning you away!

Its diet consists of grasshoppers and other insects, lizards, mice, and small birds (e.g. sparrows). It nests in cavities in trees, cliffs, buildings, and other structures. The female lays three to seven eggs, which both sexes help to incubate.

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