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Killy, the American Kestrel

The American Kestrel is truly a beautiful bird. Burgess describes him like this:

Very trim and handsome was Killy. His back was reddish-brown crossed by bars of black. His tail was reddish-brown with a band of black near its end and a white tip. His wings were slaty-blue with little bars of black, the longest feathers leaving white bars. Underneath he was a beautiful buff, spotted with black. His head was bluish with a reddish patch right on top. Before and behind each ear was a black mark. His rather short bill, like the bills of all the rest of his family, was hooked.

Thornton W. Burgess, The Burgess Bird Book for Children, Living Books Press Edition, p. 113

Killy is the smallest falcon in North America. You can tell they are birds of prey when you how they hunt. Find more about their interesting abilities here:

National Audubon Society

There is an American Kestrel at one of the nature centers near us and it is amazing to go and see him in person. And knowing that interesting fact about their ability to hover in place is really helpful for identifying them in the field. I would frequently see one doing just that on my morning bike rides.

Here is some more of what we gathered about the American Kestrel:

Until next time, enjoy birding <3 Kate

For more Burgess Birds in Detail and our Burgess Bird Pages, stay awhile and look around.

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