I sighted this bird in the East Bay Area in California and took the pictures at 8:50 AM at the end of December. I could not get a clear view because it was so far away... If it is an owl it seems quite small and its chest/belly area seems quite large. Its beak is short and the crown of its head is rusty reddish brown with some black markings. It's chest has a scalloped pattern. Does anyone know what bird this could be?
Owl or hawk?
It is an American Kestrel. I believe it is the smallest of falcons and this one looks like a male. It is a beautiful bird and we see many of them on our farm.