An American Kestrel lifts off just as the sun begins to set in Tualatin, Oregon.
The American Kestrel, also known as the sparrow hawk, is the smallest and most colorful raptor in North America. With their keen vision, males boast slate-blue wings and vibrant orange backs, while females display earthy tones. These birds are highly adaptable, often using abandoned nests of other birds and are known for their unique hovering flight while hunting for insects and small rodents. Their distinctive "klee" call can be heard across open fields and urban parks, where they play a crucial role in controlling pest populations.
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