Kestrels, Falcons

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American Kestrel

Total Photos: 1

The American Kestrel is also known as the Sparrow Hawk. It's a small falcon, and the only kestrel found in the America. American Kestrel is 20cm long. It is the smallest falcon in North America.

The American Kestrel hunts by hovering in the air with rapid wing beats or perching and scanning the ground for prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers, lizards, mice, and other small birds. It nests in cavities in trees, cliffs, buildings, and other structures.

Its breeding range extends from central and western Alaska across northern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south throughout North America, into central Mexico and the Caribbean. It is a local breeder in Central America and is widely distributed throughout South America. Most birds breeding in Canada and the northern United States migrate south in the winter. It is an occasional vagrant to western Europe.

At about the size of a large thrush, the American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America. Plumage has more variation between the sexes than size. Males have blue-grey wings with black spots and white undersides with black barring. The back is rufous, with barring on the lower half. The belly and flanks are white with black spotting. The tail is also rufous, with a white or rufous tip and a black subterminal band. The back and wings of the female American Kestrel are rufous with dark brown barring. The undersides of the females are creamy to buff with heavy brown streaking. The tail is noticeably different from the male's, being rufous in color with numerous narrow dark black bars. Juveniles exhibit coloration patterns similar to the adults. There are also two narrow, vertical black facial markings on each side of the head, while other falcons have one. Two black spots can be found on each side of the white or orangish nape. The function of these spots is debated, but the most commonly accepted theory is that they act as ""false eyes"", and help to protect the bird from potential attackers. The wings are moderately long, fairly narrow, and taper to a point. While the kestrel is perched, the wingtips are noticeably shorter than the tail tip.

Amur Falcon

Total Photos: 2

The Amur Falcon is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China, wintering in Southern Africa. Its diet consists mainly of insects, such as termites.

Males are characteristically dark sooty brown, and may offer confusion with melanistic Gabar Goshawk, but the chestnut on the vent should prevent confusion here. Also there may be some superficial resemblance to Sooty Falcon and Grey Kestrel, but those two species both have yellow feet and cere. Separating male Amur and Red-footed Falcons is best done by the white under-wing coverts on Amur Falcon, whereas the under-wing of male Red-footed Falcons is uniformly grey.

Females may offer a bit more confusion with a wider range of falcons as they have a typical falcon head pattern. The grey on the top of the head should quickly rule out confusion with Red-footed Falcons. The female has barring on the lower belly. Red cere and feet rule out all other falcons.

For juveniles, red feet should restrict ID to the Amur and Red-footed group, and the darker crown and lack of buff all the way up the belly rules out Western Red-footed Falcon. Females and juveniles lack the buff under-wing coverts of Red-footed Falcon.

Aplomado Falcon

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Barred Forest-Falcon

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Barred Hawk

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Bat Falcon

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Besra Sparrowhawk

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The besra is a widespread resident breeder in dense forests throughout southern Asia, ranging from the Indian subcontinent eastwards across Southeast Asia and into East Asia. It nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It lays 2 to 5 eggs.

This bird is a medium-sized raptor (29 to 36 cm) with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to fast manoeuvring. The normal flight of this species is a characteristic "flap–flap–glide", and the barred underwings are a distinction from the shikra.

This species is like a darker version of the widespread shikra, but all plumages have a dark vertical throat stripe. The adult male besra has dark blue-grey upperparts, and is white, barred reddish below. The larger female is browner above than the male. The juvenile is dark brown above and white, barred with brown below. It has a barred tail.

Bicolored Hawk

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Black-collared Hawk

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Broad-winged Hawk

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Collared Forest-Falcon

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Common Black Hawk

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Common Kestrel

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The Common Kestrel is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae.

This species occurs over a large range. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America. The Common Kestrel is small compared with other birds of prey, but larger than most songbirds. Common Kestrels measure 34 – 38 cm from head to tail, with a wingspan of 70 – 80 cm.

Cooper's Hawk

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Crane Hawk

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Cuban Black Hawk

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Eurasian Buzzard

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The Eurasian Buzzard is a medium-to-large bird of prey whose range covers most of Europe and extends into Asia.

It is stocky, with broad rounded wings and moderate length tail. Plumages are very variable. Most numerous rufous morph has rufous on underparts & underwing coverts, and narrowly-barred rufous tail. Intermediate & dark morphs have browner to dark brown underparts & underwing coverts, and lack rufous colour to tail.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Total Photos: 1

Adult male Eurasian sparrowhawks have bluish grey upperparts and orange-barred underparts; females and juveniles are brown above with brown barring below. The female is up to 25% larger than the male – one of the largest differences between the sexes in any bird species. Though it is a predator which specialises in catching woodland birds, the Eurasian sparrowhawk can be found in any habitat and often hunts garden birds in towns and cities. Males tend to take smaller birds, including tits, finches, and sparrows; females catch primarily thrushes and starlings, but are capable of killing birds weighing 500 grams or more.

Ferruginous Hawk

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Gray Hawk

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Gray-bellied Hawk

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Gray-lined Hawk

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Great Black Hawk

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Gundlach's Hawk

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Gyrfalcon

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Harris's Hawk

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The Harris's Hawk is a medium-large bird of prey which breeds from the southwestern United States south to Chile and central Argentina. ndividual Harris Hawks range in length from 80 cm. They exhibit sexual dimorphism with the females being larger. They have dark brown plumage with chestnut shoulders, wing linings, and thighs, white on the base a tip of the tail, long, yellow legs and a yellow cere.

Hawaiian Hawk

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Laughing Falcon

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Northern Goshawk

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The northern goshawk is a widespread species that inhabits the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. It is a raptor with short, broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to manoeuvring within its forest habitat. Across most of the species range, it is blue-grey above and barred grey or white below, but Asian subspecies in particular range from nearly white overall to nearly black above. The juvenile is brown above and barred brown below. Juveniles and adults have a barred tail, with dark brown or black barring. Adults always have a white eye stripe. In North America, juveniles have pale-yellow eyes, and adults develop dark red eyes usually after their second year, although nutrition and genetics may affect eye color as well. In Europe and Asia, juveniles also have pale-yellow eyes, however adults develop orange-colored eyes.

Orange-breasted Falcon

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Peregrine Falcon

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The peregrine falcon is a widespread bird of prey. It is a large, crow-sized falcon. It has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head and moustache. As is typical of bird-eating raptors, peregrine falcons are sexually dimorphic, females being considerably larger than males. The peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching over 389 km/h during its characteristic hunting stoop making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom.

The peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. This makes it the world's most widespread raptor and one of the most widely found bird species.

Plumbeous Hawk

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Prairie Falcon

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Red-footed Falcon

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Red-shouldered Hawk

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Red-tailed Hawk

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The Red-tailed Hawk breeds throughout most of North America, from western Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies.

A male Red-Tailed Hawk may weigh from 690 to 1300 grams and measure 45–56 cm, while a female can weigh between 900 and 2000 grams and measure 48 to 65 cm long. Wingspan is about 114 to 133 cm. Females are up to 25% larger than males. Red-tailed Hawk plumage can be variable, depending on the subspecies and the region. The western North American population is the most variable subspecies and has three color morphs: light, dark, and intermediate or rufus. The basic appearance of the Red-tailed Hawk is consistent. The underbelly is lighter than the back and a dark brown band across the belly, formed by vertical streaks in feather patterning, is present in most color variations. The red tail, which gives this species its name, is uniformly brick-red above and pink below. The bill is short and dark, in the hooked shape characteristic of raptors.They have short,broad tails and thick,chunky wings. The cere, the legs, and the feet of the Red-tailed Hawk are all yellow. Immature birds can be readily identified at close range by their yellowish irises. As the bird attains full maturity over the course of 3–4 years, the iris slowly darkens into a reddish-brown hue. In both the light and dark morphs, the tail of the immature Red-tailed Hawk are patterned with numerous darker bars.

Ridgway's Hawk

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Roadside Hawk

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Rough-legged Hawk

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Saker Falcon

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Savanna Hawk

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Semiplumbeous Hawk

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Sharp-shinned Hawk

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Shikra

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The Shikra is a widespread resident breeder throughout south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

It nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It lays 3-7 eggs. This bird is a small raptor (26-30cm) with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to fast manoeuvring. The normal flight of this species is a characteristic ""flap – flap – glide"".

Short-tailed Hawk

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Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon

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Solitary Eagle

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Swainson's Hawk

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Tiny Hawk

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White Hawk

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White-eyed Buzzard

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The White-eyed Buzzard is a medium sized hawk found in South Asia. Adults are characteristic, having a rufous tail, a distinctive white iris and a white throat with a contrasting mesial stripe and bordered by dark moustachial stripes. The head is brown and the median coverts of the upper wing are pale. They do not have typical carpal patches found on the underside of the wings of true buzzards but the wing lining appears dark in contrast with the flight feathers. They often sit upright on perches for prolonged periods and will soar on thermals in search of insect and small vertebrate prey. They are vociferous in the breeding season and several birds may be heard calling as they soar together.

White-tailed Hawk

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Zone-tailed Hawk

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