Not only is the American kestrel (Falco sparverius) one of the most abundant raptors in the Americas, but this diminutive bird of prey is also the only kestrel in the western hemisphere. This colourful kestrel displays marked sexual dimorphism, and there is also considerable variation between individuals. Typically, the male has an orange back, flecked with black, a solid red tail with a wide, black tip, blue-grey wings and head cap, and black markings on the face and belly. The larger female, however, lacks the blue-grey markings and has barred, brown upperparts and streaked underparts. The American kestrel is America’s smallest falcon. There are thought to be 17 different subspecies of the American kestrel, each varying in colour and size. The American kestrel is found throughout the Americas in almost every type of habitat. Its population and range are increasing.


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