This very young American Kestrel came to us for help, thanks to an observant friend of NYWRC, on Father’s Day.
Kestrels are our smallest North American falcon. They are fairly common in our area, in part thanks to a nest box placement program that New York Wildlife Rescue is part of.
American Kestrels nest at the edges of fields, and they are cavity nesters. With natural nesting sites diminishing, the placement of nest boxes in key areas has turned out to be a real boon for the species
Kestrels are a lovely little bird, and can often be seen on electrical wires throughout the area. Look for a tiny robin-sized falcon with a bobbing tail, and you’ll know for a certainty that you have a Kestrel sighting.
Both sexes are beautifully marked, with the males being more vivid and colorful. They are rust-colored on back and tail, with blue-gray head and upper wings, and black vertical streaks on the sides of their faces. Their breasts and bellies are light-colored with black spots. The females are also lovely, but lack the blue-gray patches and their facial barring is not as vivid.
Kestrels feed primarily on insects and other invertebrates, small songbirds, and small rodents.
They will nest in old woodpecker holes, as well as nest boxes and other cavities. The pair will raise one to two broods per year, of four to five eggs each. The babies usually leave the nest at between 28 and 31 days.