The name Blue Hawks is derived from the American kestrel, or sparrow hawk, which is indigenous to this area. A beautiful, rust-colored falcon, the kestrel is about the size of a robin. The male falcon is distinguished by its blue-gray wings and unbarred tail, while the female sports a barred tail and lacks the blue-gray wings. Considered the most colorful raptor, the kestrel is the most common falcon in the world and can be found from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in South America.
The name Blue Hawks is especially suited to Dickinson State University. Although the American kestrel is no larger than a robin, it is a fierce fighting bird and an apt and able hunter. Additionally, the kestrel adapts readily to varying conditions, allowing it to remain one of the most abundant raptors of North America. Dickinson State University has weathered many storms, but continues to grow and adapt to the changing needs of society. This small, regional university continues to be a vital partner with the state, the region and the world.