What kind of bird is a kestrel?


Why do female kestrels have different personalities?

Female kestrel chicks with blacker plumage have been found to have bolder personalities, indicating that even in juvenile birds plumage coloration can act as a status signal.

What is the scientific name for a kestrel?

Archaic names for the kestrel include windhover and windfucker, due to its habit of beating the wind (hovering in air). The Late Latin falco derives from falx, falcis, a sickle, referencing the claws of the bird. The species name tinnunculus is Latin for “kestrel” from “tinnulus”, “shrill”.

How many eggs does a kestrel lay at once?

The call of the Kestrel is a loud shrill ‘kee-kee-kee’, which can sometimes be confused with Nuthatch calls. Kestrels nest on a ledge, in a tree hole or in a disused nest. Breeding begins April to may. The clutch of 3 – 6 eggs is incubated by the female and the chicks hatch after 27 – 31 days.

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Are there Kestrels in the UK?

Kestrels are common and widespread throughout the UK. The kestrel population has fallen significantly since 1970. They have a signature hovering technique when hunting. Kestrels do not build their own nests.

Where do kestrels build their nests?

Kestrels do not build their own nests. They use old nests of other large birds such as crows and pigeons, or the eggs are laid in a hole in a tree, a crevice in a wall or cliff face, or on ledges on buildings.

What is a Falco tinnunculus?

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) A hovering hunter that strikes from above. The kestrel is a common sight along woodland edges, using its razor-sharp vision to catch unsuspecting prey. Kestrels are common and widespread throughout the UK.

Why do kestrels Bob their tails?

Their flight is buoyant and quick, and kestrels are known for hovering over fields as a hunting technique. Another great behavioral marker is that these birds tend to bob their tail while perching.

What bird can kill a kestrel?

For most blackbirds (Icteridea), either falcon can prove effective. Starlings in close are extremely vulnerable to kestrels, but in the open are best prey for merlins. The same holds true for house sparrows, with this exception: sparrows in thick cover are better quarry for kestrels.

What is the most common book on the Kestrel?

Common Kestrel. Handbook of Birds of the World. Volume 2 (New World vultures to Guineafowl). Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 259–260, plates 26.

Do Kestrels make nests in trees?

American Kestrels nest in cavities, although they lack the ability to excavate their own. They rely on old woodpecker holes, natural tree hollows, rock crevices, and nooks in buildings and other human-built structures. The male searches for possible nest cavities.

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How do Kestrels feed their young?

Both adults feed the young birds, though the newly-hatched are usually fed by the female with the male hunting and bringing the food to the nest. Juveniles fledge after 27 – 39 days and disperse from their natal grounds in July – August and may travel up to 100 miles (150 kilometres). The life span of a wild kestrel is around 10 years.

How many kestrels are there in the UK?

The UK population was estimated at 52,000 breeding pairs for the 1988-91 Breeding Bird Atlas. Like many other birds of prey, kestrels were persecuted heavily in the late 19th and early 20th century by gamekeepers, even though they rarely take game bird chicks.

What is the average size of a Falcon?

Falco tinnunculus is among the smallest of all raptors. Adults range in weight from 150 to 190 g, with females tending to be larger than males. Common kestrels have longer tails and wingspans relative to their body size than most other falcons, which allow them to be easily distinguished from related species.

What does a Falco bird look like?

Like the other Falco species, they have long wings as well as a distinctive long tail. Their plumage is mainly light chestnut brown with blackish spots on the upperside and buff with narrow blackish streaks on the underside; the remiges are also blackish.

What is the root word of Falco?

The Late Latin falco derives from falx, falcis, a sickle, referencing the claws of the bird. The species name tinnunculus is Latin for “kestrel” from “tinnulus”, “shrill”.

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What does a fan wing bird look like?

The species has pointed wings and a tail that appears long in flight and fan-shaped when the bird is hovering. With a typical wing span of around 75cm and weighing up to 250g, they are roughly the size of a magpie.

What is the difference between a kestrel and Hawk?

Kestrels are similar in size to the Sparrow hawk, however, kestrels have more pointed wings. They are not fast or powerful fliers and their wing beat is rather ‘flappy’. Kestrels are found in a wide variety of habitats, from moor and heath, to farmland and urban areas.

What does a kestrel look like when it flies?

In flight, the wings are often bent and the wingtips swept back. American Kestrels are pale when seen from below and warm, rusty brown spotted with black above, with a black band near the tip of the tail.

How do kestrels hover?

Kestrels hover effortlessly for long periods of time by flying into a light headwind and making continuous small adjustments to its wings and tail while it hangs on an rising draught of air. While hovering, the Kestrels head is kept perfectly still giving it the ability to spot the slightest movements on the ground.

How do sheep and cattle affect kestrels?

Increased stocking densities of sheep and cattle on grasslands reduces grass length and results in fewer numbers of the small mammals Kestrels prey upon. “The reduction of wild flower populations results in fewer insects and seeds which again means fewer small mammals for the Kestrel.