|American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)|
DESCRIPTION: L=10.5" (27cm), W=23" (58cm). Smallest falcon in North America. Both males and females have two, vertical, black stripes through side of head and rust-colored back and tail, but males are distinguished by having bluish-gray wings. Call is a piercing "killy killy killy."
NATURAL HISTORY: American kestrels are often seen sitting on telephone wires or hovering perfectly still as they hunt for their insect, reptile, and small mammal prey. Occasionally they will hunt small birds, which is why they used to be called "sparrow hawk". Frequently nests in saguaro cavities.