American Kestrel

Falco sparverius

This little falcon visits the reserve to hunt. It hovers in place, facing the wind, and then swoops down onto its prey. Look for it perched on utility poles and wires, and on dead tree limbs. The American Kestrel traditionally nests in tree cavities excavated by woodpeckers, but it will also use the leaf bases of date palms and human-made nest boxes.

Photo: Nicolle Overby

Fun Fact:
The American Kestrel is North America's smallest falcon, barely larger than a Mourning Dove.

What’s for Lunch:
Insects, mice, lizards

Where’s Home:
Open areas throughout San Diego County; nests in tree cavities and under building eaves, year-round