American Kestrel / Sparrow Hawk

 

Animals at the Zoo

Captain Jack – Missing an eye – arrived in 2010

Description

(falco sparverius)

North America’s smallest falcon is also the most widespread. Normally hunts from a high perch, swooping down to capture prey. They have a wide variety of prey options and individuals will often specialize in one type or another.

What do they eat?

Primarily large insects; small mammals, birds and reptiles may fall prey as well.

How long do they live?

8-10 years on average in the wild.

How many can be laid at a time?

Typically lay 4-5 eggs at a time.

Where are they found? 

Nearly all of North America.

Many birds in southern or middle latitudes are permanent residents; northern birds will migrate south for winter – younger birds traveling further than older adults.

Interesting facts:
  • Studies have shown they see in the ultraviolet wavelength. This means they can hover over a field, look for urine trails which will stand out, and follow these trails to a rodent or other small animal and prey upon it.