The American Kestrel should be nicknamed the Colorful Falcon.
The Kestrel is referred to as the “Sparrow Hawk” or “Grasshopper Hawk,” but its wonderful mix of brown, bluish-gray, black, and cream white deserve a more colorful nickname. During my last hike, this Kestrel flew from and then alighted on the tallest pine overlooking the palmetto scrub. He was perched a few hundred yards away from this female I saw (Feb. 18) in the same preserve, in another pine tree. The Kestrel is a little more shy than Osprey, but he seems to share the same space, and I’m hoping to see one dive for prey. I learned that the bird is sometimes called the “Sparrow Hawk” because, in the past, it was thought that Kestrels primarily preyed upon sparrows before research indicated otherwise. Another nickname, “Grasshopper Hawk,” might be more appropriate. A few more photos of the male: