Rare Bird Registry:

Help report Florida’s rare upland birds
Southeastern American Kestrel
Falco sparverius paulus

      The Southeastern American Kestrel is listed by the State of Florida as a Threatened species. FWC’s conservation objective is to create a stable or increasing population trend so that the species can persist in Florida. One of the conservation challenges for this declining species is a lack of distribution data, especially for areas without existing nest box programs. The observations you report here will help our staff determine which habitats are important for breeding kestrels. Once these areas are identified, conservation actions can be taken to best protect this important species.


      This is North America’s smallest falcon. Males have slate-blue wings and a rufous orange tail with a single black band, whereas females are reddish brown and heavily barred throughout the wings, back, and tail with heavy streaking on the breast. The Southeastern American Kestrel is a non-migratory subspecies and the only kestrel that breeds in Florida. Identification of this resident subspecies is difficult most times of year, except during May-July when it is the only kestrel present in Florida.


      Kestrels are cavity nesters and will readily use nest boxes. They can often be seen searching for prey from exposed perches such as utility wires and tree snags. They are common in areas with short grass cover such as open pine woods, grasslands, prairies, and pastures.


Southeastern American Kestrel Male

Southeastern American Kestrel Female

Perched Southeastern American Kestrel Male

Additional Species Information
  1. Florida Wildlife Research Institute—Southeastern American Kestrel Profile Page
  2. Cornell Lab of Ornithology: All About Birds Page

How You Can Participate:

Record your Southeastern American kestrel sightings by using the interactive mapping tool below.

*Kestrels sighted outside of the breeding season are usually migratory birds and not the Southeastern American Kestrel. Please submit sightings taken only during breeding season dates (1 May-31 July) as defined by the Florida Breeding Bird Atlas project, but YOU MAY ENTER THOSE SIGHTINGS AT ANY TIME.

Southeastern American Kestrel Observation Form
  1. You can enter your lat/long directly or you can use the red marker on the map to determine the coordinates.
  2. Drag the marker to the approximate location then zoom to help pin-point the desired location.
  3. Enter sighting date, observer name, contact email and phone.
  4. Provide a detailed description of the bird you observed in the comments including appearance and behavior.
  5. Photos of your sighting are encouraged: please upload using the boxes below.
  6. Click the Submit button below the date entry area.
  7. Please submit a new record for each individual bird you observed.
Is this the exact location of your sighting?


Open the calendar popup.


Was the kestrel observed at a nest site?
If yes, please describe:

Submit pictures if available:
Allowed files - .pdf,.jpg,.png,.tif,.gif:


If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact: Dr. Karl Miller (FWRI Upland Nongame Bird Lead)

Thank you very much for your participation in this survey, your contributions to this effort are invaluable!

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