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Common Kestrel

About Common Kestrel

This bird has long, pointed wings and long tail. Male chestnut with darker spots and black tail bar; head and tail are bluish-gray; with buff below. Female are chesnut overall above, with black bars, and they have no gray. Both male and female have dark wingtips, dark “mustache” below the eye, yellow legs, yellowish hooked bill with dark tip, and yellow eyes.

These birds breed in late winter or early spring. The lay their eggs in a unlined tree hollow or sometimes in a rock crevice, on a rocky ledge or in a nest that has been abandoned by another bird. They lay 4-9 white or yellowish eggs, which are speckled dark reddish-brown. The female incubates the eggs for 27-29 days.

This bird is one of the world’s most versatile and abundant birds. It is also the most distinctive. It searches for its prey by hovering in mid-air about 30 feet (9m) above the ground. It makes constant adjustments to keep its head perfectly still, watching intently for the smallest movement. It can hover for several minutes, watching closely, and if nothing is found, it will sideslip away to try another spot. It likes to hunt over grassy roadsides where small rodents are common, and is often times seen along busy highways. In the high hills it hangs in updrafts, hardly moving its wings, few other birds are able to do this.

When it sees its victim, it will swoop down at get it with its talons, and then it will carry it away to its faviorte spot to enjoy its meal. It lives on all kinds of prey and this it makes it easy for the Common Kestrel to live in a lot of different areas.

It is not afraid of humans and as a result this breed will live on farmland and even in city centers.

The Common Kestrel is the most familiar bird of prey in Europe.