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European Kestrel

Order:

Falconiformes

Family:

Falconidae

Group:

Colony

Lifespan:

up to 16 years in the wild, up to 18 in captivity

Gestation:

4 weeks, 3-7 eggs

Distribution:

throughout Europe, Northeast Africa, Western Asia

Habitat:

Open areas with low vegetation, agricultural areas, urban areas

Diet:

Rodents, insects, small reptiles and other birds

Conservation Status:

Least Concern

 

Facts

The European Kestrel Falco tinnunculus, also known as the Eurasian Kestrel or the Common Kestrel is widespread across most of Europe, with estimates of the European population falling between 330,000 and 500,000 pairs. The only places in Europe they cannot be found are Iceland and far northern Scandinavia! They are mainly chestnut brown/buff with black spots and streaks, and although sexual dimorphism is rare in raptor species, males have a grey tail and head, while the females are all brown Their  wingspan averages from 68 cm to 82 cm, and they can weigh on average between 163 to 290 grams.

Those in northern and Eastern Europe tend to migrate to Southern Europe and North Africa for breeding season, however those in Central Europe tend to stay in one area. When breeding, they do not make nests of their own, rather stealing other birds' nests or breeding in trees, cliffs and buildings.

 

 

Did you know?

Kestrels hunt from a perch and while hovering- hovering takes far more energy, so they generally hunt from perches in the winter season when they must conserve energy.

They have incredible eyesight, and can even see in UV light! They use this ability to track urine trails of their prey.