Kestrels are the most common rapture frequenting farmland, moors, parks, heaths, coastline, marshes and city-centres. A familiar sight with their pointed wings and long tail, hovering beside a roadside verge. They have adapted readily to man-made environments and can survive right in the centre of cities.
Numbers of kestrels declined in the 1970s, probably as a result of changes in farming.
- lacks grey on the head and tail
- Males have a grey head and tail with a prominent black band, a gingery-brown back and a creamy underside which is speckled with black.
- Females are similar to the males, but with a more uniform brown back and dark bands on the tail.
- 32 - 35cms length
- black, hooked.
- yellow, long.
- Kestrels are found in a wide variety of habitats, from moor and heath, to farmland and urban areas. The only places they do not favour are dense forests, vast treeless wetlands and mountains. They are a familiar sight, hovering beside a motorway or other main road. They can often be seen perched on a high tree branch, or on a telephone post or wire, on the look out for prey.
- perches openly, takes off and lands on vegetation, posts, wires and on the ground.
- hovers, soars, aerial dive.
- high pitched kee-kee-kee sound
Breeding & Feeding
- Kestrels will use holes in trees, nest boxes, cliff ledges and even old nests to lay their eggs.
- 5 to 5 eggs, white with heavy brown speckles. The timing of egg laying is dependent on the weather, but the female normally lays her clutch of 3-6 eggs in late April or early May.
- Incubation Period
- Incubation takes 27-29 days per egg, which hatch over a period of a few days.
- 27 - 39 days, the chicks fledge gradually from around four to 5 weeks old.
- 1 - April to June
- Small mammals and birds, worms and insects.
- UK Breeding Pairs
- 46,000 to 52,000