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Owl or hawk?

Pleasanton, CA

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?

Thumbnail by scryingwell
Pleasanton, CA

Image #2 - you can see its face markings a bit clearer

Thumbnail by scryingwell
Pleasanton, CA

Image #3 - here you can see the shape of its beak

Thumbnail by scryingwell
The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

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.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Ditto to American Kestrel

Resin

Pleasanton, CA

Thanks dellrose and Resin! :)

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