Kestrel - America's smallest Falcon

in #photography5 years ago


American Kestrel


The American Kestrel is our smallest Falcon and one of the most common Falcons. Kestrel's are about the size of a Blue Jay and al though they do hunt from the Sky like other Falcons, they tend to ambush prey by perching up high and scanning the ground.



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Since American kestrels are carnivores, toxic chemical runoff ingested by their prey can concentrate at high levels in their blood. We see this with larger Raptors feeding off animals killed by lead shot. Although Kestrels are the most abundant Falcon in the Americas, research suggest that there maybe a decline in numbers. This is due in part to loss of habitat from population growth. Kestrels nest in fields that are lost over time to developments.



Kestrels are small but are still used in Falconry and considered a beginners bird. Although the Kestrel is a Falcon and used in Falconry, its still quite the small bird and must be watched after and kept safe from larger raptors. It's also protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 which requires a permit for Falconry.




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