American Kestrel (species: Falco sparverius) in Birds of Honduras (Gaia Guide)
Falco sparverius
American Kestrel

©James St. John: American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

©Pablo Leautaud: American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

©Blake Matheson: Male
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Falconiformes
Family Falconidae
Genus Falco
Species Falco sparverius



Distinguishing features

In contrast to many other raptor species, the sexes differ more in plumage than in 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'. In both sexes, the head is white with a bluish-grey top. There are also two narrow, vertical black facial markings on each side of the head, while other falcons have one. Two black spots (ocelli) can be found on each side of the white or orangish nape. The wings are moderately long, fairly narrow, and taper to a point. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 27 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Averaging 61 cm



Web resources