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Aves - Neognathae - Falconiformes - Falconidae - Falco - Falco sparverius

Sternum (Breast Bone) of a Falco sparverius (American Kestrel)

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Species Description
The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is one of the smallest falcons in the United States. Found across the Americas, the American Kestrel can be located in parks, marshes, plains, suburbs, fields, along with a large variety of other habitats. The female has a body 9-10 inches in length and a wingspan of 21-24 inches. Not much different in size, the male has a body 8-10 inches in length and a wingspan of 20-22 inches. The main way to identify between the sexes is by the variation in feather color. Male wings are blueish-gray with black spots, whereas female wings are rufous with black stripes. Males and female have white undersides with black stripes, and a rufous tail. Female legs are yellow. Both sexes share a white head with a bluish-gray top along with two black, vertical facial marks on both sides of the head. The American Kestrel feeds on insects and vertebrates, including mice, dragonflies, lizards, grasshoppers, and other small birds. This bird breeds in holes of trees, crevices of cliffs, and cavities in rocks. An interesting feature of this kestrel is the three distinct vocalizations; the "klee" (excitement/upset), the "chitter" (male/female interaction), and the "whine" (courtship/feeding). Despite its fragility, small size and ability to metabolize quickly, this bird favored beginner falconers in the United States.
Skeletal Elements Available

Sternum (Breast Bone)

Mandible (Jawbone )

Left Humerus (Left Upper Arm Bone)

Left Femur (Left Upper Leg Bone)

Right Femur (Right Femur)
External Links
Encyclopedia of Life

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