How to Draw an American Kestrel

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw an American Kestrel in 8 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the American Kestrel.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw an American Kestrel - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: First, draw the head with a smooth, rounded line. Leave a small notch for its beak. The kestrel is a type of falcon and uses its small, hooked beak for hunting.

Step 2: Draw the face with a short, wavy line to show where the neck meets the body. Use a small circle inside a larger egg-shaped circle for the eye, and then add a curved line along the middle of the beak for the kestrel’s mouth.

Step 3: Draw two long, smooth lines to make the kestrel’s back and chest, down to its tail and legs.

Step 4: Draw the wing with a long, curved line, starting near the neck, down past the end of the back, and join it with a shorter, straight line above it.

Step 5: Then, draw the wing detail. Use group of small, flat, C-shaped lines of different sizes to show the kestrel’s layers of feathers.

Step 6: Draw the tail using a series of long lines like a paper fan, starting from the bottom tip of the wing.

Step 7: Draw the right leg. Kestrels have narrow legs with sharp, strong, hooked talons, like their beaks, for catching prey.

Step 8: Draw the left leg the same as the right. Be sure to connect the tail to the body and legs.

Interesting Facts about the American kestrel

The American kestrel is a type of falcon that is the only type of kestrel that can be found in the Americas, as well as being the most commonly found falcon in all of North America. Kestrels are commonly a warm brown color with black spots on their backs with grayish blue wings for the males and brown for the females.

Did you know?

  • Not only is this bird the most commonly found falcon in America, but it is also the smallest falcon, around the same size as a mourning dove
  • This lucky bird growing in both population and range, so we don’t have to worry about losing these great birds!
  • There are many types of sub-species of these birds which all range greatly in size and colors
  • When an American kestrel is perched, you can often spot them pumping their tails up and down which seems to be a way to keep themselves balanced
  • Though you can find these birds through most of North and South America from deserts to grasslands, their favorite places to make home are often open fields with a small amounts of short plants
  • Both genders of this bird have black lines on the sides of their faces under their eyes which are often referred to as their mustaches or sideburns.