Family: American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Information About

American Kestrel

Quick Facts

Falco sparverius


Viewing Scale

Chances of seeing American Kestrel in Alaska

American Kestrel in Detail.

Falco sparverius, commonly known as the American kestrel or sparrow hawk, is a small-sized bird of prey found in North and South America. It is the smallest falcon species in North America and is about the size of a large songbird, with a wingspan of around 20 inches (51 cm) and a weight of approximately 3.5 ounces (100 grams).

The American kestrel is sexually dimorphic, with the males having distinctive blue-gray wings and a rust-colored back and tail, while females have a more muted brown coloration. Both sexes have a white and black striped face with a sharp, hooked beak and large, round eyes.

This falcon is a common sight in open areas such as grasslands, meadows, and agricultural fields, where it can be seen perched on a fence post or hovering in the air while hunting for small prey such as insects, small birds, and rodents. They are known for their agile flight and can hover in place for extended periods of time, using their keen eyesight to spot prey below.

American kestrels are also known for their distinctive call, which is a loud, repeated "klee" or "killy". They are migratory birds, with most individuals leaving the state for the winter. Some kestrels from Alaska migrate as far south as Central and South America, while others overwinter in the southern United States.


Speckle-winged Grasshopper, Northern Red-backed Vole, Southern Red-backed Vole or Gapper's Red-backed Vole, Meadow Vole


Pictures of American Kestrel.