(Falco sparverius)

Tom was hatched in 2006 by a friend of the centre in Shropshire. He is a real character and is flown at the centre for displays and experience days. He is also part of the team that goes to schools for educational talks and displays.

He is our smallest bird that we fly, weighing in at just over 100 grams. He is usually kept in our staff room as we don't trust the local wild sparrowhawks! When he sits outside we surround him with bodyguards - larger falcons!

In the wild

The American Kestrel is the second smallest species in the Falco genus, which includes all kestrels and larger falcons. The smallest is the Seychelles Kestrel.

Origin: All of the Americas, in more northern parts migrates during the winter period.

Diet: Mostly insects (dragonflies and beetles), small mammals and reptiles, proportions varying seasonally and regionally. Also small birds, amphibians, earthworms, some centipedes, spiders and scorpions.

Habitat: Virtually all open and semi-open habitats, wherever suitable nest sites, perches and prey available. Also urban areas like the Old World version: Common Kestrel

SPECIES FACTFILE

LENGTH: 21-27cm

WINGSPAN: 52-61cm

WEIGHT: 97-150g

EGGS IN CLUTCH: 4-6

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