Our most colorful, most abundant and smallest Falcon the American Kestrel is my pick for February bird of the month. When I was a kid we knew this beautiful little hawk as a Sparrow Hawk and never then and still now grow tired of watching these little falcons as they hover over fields in search of mice. The first of the birds of prey that I was able to identify.
Rufous back and tail.
Two dark mustache marks on face.
Wings blue-gray with black spots. Tail rufous on back with a broad black subterminal band and a white or rufous tip. Tail white underneath with a few incomplete black bars. Back and rump orange to rufous, with a variable amount of black barring. Underparts pale buff to orange, with variable amount of black spotting, especially along sides. Crown blue-gray with some orange. Buffy spots with dark centers on either side of nape (back of head), making "eyespots" visible from behind.
Wings rufous barred with black. Tail rufous with black bands. Underparts creamy to buff, heavily streaked with brown. Back rufous with dark barring