Falcons and Caracaras (Falconidae)

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) - HBW 2, p. 261

French: Crécerelle d'Amérique German: Buntfalke Spanish: Cernícalo Americano
Other common names: American Sparrowhawk, Sparrow Hawk(!)

Taxonomy: Falco sparverius Linnaeus, 1758, America = South Carolina.
Has been placed in either Cerchneis or Tinnunculus. Often considered to form superspecies with F. tinnunculus. Seventeen subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • sparverius Linnaeus, 1758 - North America, from Alaska to Newfoundland, and S to W Mexico, except SE USA and coastal W Mexico; winters S through C America to Panama.
  • paulus (Howe & King, 1902) - South Carolina to Florida, USA.
  • peninsularis Mearns, 1892 - S Baja California, Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico.

     See all 17 subspecies
  • sparverius Linnaeus, 1758 - North America, from Alaska to Newfoundland, and S to W Mexico, except SE USA and coastal W Mexico; winters S through C America to Panama.
  • paulus (Howe & King, 1902) - South Carolina to Florida, USA.
  • peninsularis Mearns, 1892 - S Baja California, Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico.
  • tropicalis (Griscom, 1930) - S Mexico to N Honduras.
  • nicaraguensis Howell, 1965 - lowland pine savannas in Honduras and Nicaragua.
  • sparverioides Vigors, 1827 - Cuba and I of Pines; Bahamas.
  • dominicensis Gmelin, 1788 - Hispaniola.
  • caribaearum Gmelin, 1788 - Puerto Rico to Grenada.
  • brevipennis (Berlepsch, 1892) - Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles).
  • isabellinus Swainson, 1837 - Venezuela to N Brazil.
  • ochraceus (Cory, 1915) - mountains of E Colombia and NW Venezuela.
  • caucae (Chapman, 1915) - mountains of W Colombia.
  • aequatorialis Mearns, 1892 - subtropical N Ecuador.
  • peruvianus (Cory, 1915) - subtropical SW Ecuador, Peru and N Chile.
  • fernandensis (Chapman, 1915) - Robinson Crusoe I (Más a Tierra), in Juan Fernández Is, off WC Chile.
  • cinnamominus Swainson, 1837 - SE Peru, Chile and Argentina S to Tierra del Fuego.
  • cearae (Cory, 1915) - tablelands from NE Brazil S and W to E Bolivia.