American Kestrel

About the American Kestrel

Also known as: Sparrow Hawk

The American Kestrel, formerly known as the Sparrow Hawk, is the smallest falcon in North America - about the size of an American Robin.

American Kestrels are widely distributed across the Americas. Their breeding range extends from central and western Alaska across northern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south throughout North America, into central Mexico, the Baja, and the Caribbean. They are local breeders in Central America and are widely distributed throughout South America.

Most of the birds breeding in Canada and the northern United States migrate south in the winter, although some males stay as year-round residents. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 16 March 2007
Scientific Name
Falco sparverius
  • Falconiformes
  • Falconidae
  • Falco
  • F. sparverius
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 7 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
9 to 11 inches
21 to 24 inches
4.2 ounces


International Names

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) Quiriquiri
Chinese (汉语) 美洲隼
Czech (Cesky) Poštolka Pestrá
Danish (Dansk) Amerikansk Tårnfalk
Dutch (Nederlands) Amerikaanse Torenvalk
Finnish (Suomi) Amerikantuulihaukka
French (Français) Crécerelle d'Amérique
German (Deutsch) Buntfalke
Italian (Italiano) Gheppio Americano
Japanese (日本語) アメリカチョウゲンボウ (Amerikachougembou)
Norwegian (Norsk) Spurvefalk
Polish (Polski) Pustulka Amerykanska
Russian (русский язык) Пустельга
Spanish (Español) Cernícalo Americano
Swedish (Svenska) Sparvfalk
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