But there are some areas where their numbers are in decline, particularly in the eastern part of the United States, because of loss of habitat due to human development and land use changes.

It's for that reason many people who are into falconry choose the kestrel to begin learning about the sport.

Males have blue tinted wings and one black bar on their orange tail feathers.

Often, they will stash the leftovers in strategic places and come back for them.

American kestrels, like other falcons, do not build traditional nests, but rather use cavities found in trees, like those hollowed out by woodpeckers.

Females have orange wings with black stripes and black bands on their orange tail feathers.

They also nest in rock or cliff cavities and take well to nest boxes built by humans.

A fierce predator in a small package

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This time of the year, there is a lot of competition for nest sites and food.

Kestrels often harass larger hawks during migration and during breeding season. Because of the competition, they often fall prey to larger raptors like red tailed hawks and Cooper's hawks.

Both have two dark colored moustache markings on their white cheeks.

Depending on the size of their meal, kestrels might eat on the ground, putting them at risk from other birds of prey.

When they do spot prey, they dive powerfully in what is termed a "stoop."

Kestrels are one of the few raptors in North America where males and females are very different in appearance.

During the hunt, kestrels are among the most graceful and agile birds of prey found anywhere.

Kestrels mainly feed on insects, snakes and small rodents like mice and voles as well as small birds like sparrows, earning them the inaccurate common name of sparrow hawks, although they are members of the falcon family. making it a species of least concern in terms of conservation priorities.

In the field, the American kestrels are easy to identify as they hunts. They will often perch on power poles, fence post or other man made objects, lying in wait for prey.

Because of this, kestrels must compete with other birds for nesting places. Like other raptors, they are mostly solitary birds that hunt by day. But during the spring breeding season, they often stick together.

During the nesting season, the female will mind the eggs and the young for the most part while the males hunt and bring food back to the nest.

According to the Peregrine Fund, the American kestrel was once one of the most common raptors in North America.

They use the wind to hover over their hunting grounds, using their tail like a Men Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka Navy Outlet Australia rudder as they hover in mid air searching for a meal.

According to the American Kestrel Partnership, a project of the Peregrine Fund, the number of kestrels in the Prairie Pothole Region declined 43 percent between 1966 and 2008.

Kestrels favor open areas with short ground vegetation where they spot prey like grasshoppers, mice or occasionally larger rodents like ground squirrels.

Although in other parts of southern North America the kestrel population has been on the rise, as a whole, it declined an estimated 47 percent during the same period, according the Kestrel Partnership's website.

Kestrels, like other birds, can see ultraviolet light light that is invisible to humans and they use that sense to track the urine trails that mice and voles leave as they run along the ground sort of a glowing map to their next meal.

Once the young fledge, kestrels will often hunt together as a family unit.