American Kestrel

The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) has to be one of  my favorite small hawks.  They are beautiful, colorful, and agressive as hawks usually are.  Stokes Field Guide of North American Birds describes it as a small long-tailed falcon with long, narrow, pointed, and strongly tapered wings.  Some strong identifying marks are the two vertical stripes on the white face.  It is often seen hovering or perched on wires in open spaces, hunting insects, birds and small mammals.  They are plentiful around the west Texas area.  I captured this photograph at San Angelo State Park a year ago, after he led me on a merry chase through the trees and picnic areas.  I finally caught up with him as he stopped atop a tree and let the wind blow his plummage.

American Kestrel

I hope you enjoy the photograph and you can click on it to see an enlargement.  Below is our latest bird count from this morning.

Wednesday January 5, 2011   Total species   21

Northern Shoveler     12
American White Pelican     50
Great Blue Heron     1
Northern Harrier     1
Ring-billed Gull     100
White-winged Dove     6
Mourning Dove     2
Ladder-backed Woodpecker     1
Black-crested Titmouse     2
Northern Mockingbird     6
Curve-billed Thrasher     1
Spotted Towhee     1
Canyon Towhee     1
Vesper Sparrow     1
White-crowned Sparrow     24
Northern Cardinal     6
Pyrrhuloxia     6
Red-winged Blackbird     20
Western Meadowlark     10
House Finch     18
House Sparrow     6

Happy Birding!!