The American Kestrel is our smallest and certainly our most colorful falcon. Found throughout North America, this valuable insect and rodent predator was formerly quite common. Numbers have declined significantly throughout the U.S. over the past decade, however. A shortage of nest sites is believed to be a major reason. The Kestrel is our only Hawk that nests primarily in tree cavities, such as old woodpecker holes. The felling of mature trees for firewood and construction has destroyed suitable sites in otherwise excellent habitat, producing a severe “housing” shortage.
The kestrel is a hawk of open country, preferring farmlands, meadows and abandoned fields. It has also adjusted well to urban and suburban life, nesting in mature trees along highways and feeding along right of ways and parkland. New England has ample h