The American Kestrel is the smallest and most common falcon in North America. They are around nine inches tall with a wingspan of about 22 inches. Their most distinguishing feature is two narrow, vertical black facial markings on each side of the head. American Kestrels are found in many habitats such as grasslands, meadows, deserts, as well as suburban and urban areas. They hunt by hovering in the air with rapid wing beats or by perching while looking for prey. The kestrel will bob its head and tail, then make a direct line towards the prey, grab with their talons when they hit the ground. They eat grasshoppers, lizards, mice or small birds. Here is an American Kestrel hovering in a high desert area in northern Arizona.


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