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…