American Kestrel, Hull's Gulch, Boise, Idaho

Some Notes on Sparrowhawks


“Sparrowhawk” is the old name for American Kestrels, the pint-sized falcons that are probably the most common raptor in North America. Back in the day, pretty much all raptors were called “hawks.”1 The name “Kestrel” derives from the Old French crecelle, meaning “rattle,” a reference to the sound of the bird’s cry. While Kestrel populations are…