What does a kestrel bird look like

Kestrel bird. Habitat and lifestyle of the kestrel

The beauty, dexterity and size of the hawks created him the glory of the Lord of Heaven. They differ from other birds of prey only by an additional tooth on the lower edge of the upper beak.

Kestrel is the smallest member of the falcon genus. Even so, it has more than ten species.

Features and habitat

Kestrel - quite an ordinary bird. It can be found in Europe, Africa, and Asia. On these continents it is impossible to meet them only in the northern regions and on the islands.

There are two types of these birds in Russia:Kestrel andKestrel Steppe. The second is critically endangered and protected by the state.

The inhabitants of the northern regions of Europe move to the warm regions of Central Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa in autumn and return home in spring.

The kestrel is the smallest of its kind

Residents of the southern regions stay in their habitats all the time. Hence we can say that the kestrel is partialMigratory bird.

All species of this bird do not differ much from each other. They are up to half a meter tall and have a wingspan of around 70 centimeters.

The weight of the female is approx. 300 g and can increase during the laying period, the weight of the males is constant and is approx. 200 g. Male and female individuals differ in color.

The male has a reddish color and black stripes, his head and neck are much lighter, sometimes even white. Women are lighter and darker, their heads are brown.

Common kestrels have long tails and wings, while other species of hawks have short tails and long wings. The yellow's paws end with sharp claws. The curved beak is white at the base and black or gray at the end.

Character and lifestyle

Birds equip their abode in forests (mainly coniferous forests), mountain areas, forest edges, forests and plains.Kestrel can dwell in caves or tree hollows, between stones and in different caves. The main condition is the availability of free space nearby for hunting.

HowPeregrine falcon, kestrel settles easily in cities. Nests of these birds can be found on the balcony, under the ledge, in pipes, or in other unexpected places. Predator is also often found in parks and on the boulevards of residential areas.

The bird can simply sit on the tracks and watch the traffic. In one placeWhere does the kestrel live?there must be food, otherwise it will be forced to move.

Kestrels don't make nests. They take care of the apartment and wait for the residents to leave or just drive out the owners. Sometimes they can fix the occupied space. Magpies are particularly aggressive falconers.

There are two possibilities for the origin of the name of this bird:

The bird's name derives from people's inability to tame it for hunting. In their opinion, the bird is unusable and empty.

The Latin name for the kestrel is "the ringing hawk," and indeed it has a very beautiful voice, similar to the ringing of bells.


Kestrels are birds that are prone to colonial nests. Their land is usually no larger than 30 hectares, and predators rarely fly further than half a kilometer from them.

The little hawks do not strictly control their territoriality, and several families can have a single location at the same time.

Kestrel - bird of preythat eats smaller cousins, rodents, reptiles, moles and insects, mainly boreflies (dragonflies, grasshoppers, crickets, etc.). There have been cases when the kestrel stole a small fish from the fishermen or collected the leftover food after a picnic.

The constant and tireless hunt for these hawks makes them very useful for pest control in agriculture. Birds destroy voles, mice, rats, gophers, and other rodents.

Kestrel nest with chicks

Up to 30 animals can be caught per day. Sometimes there is so much to eat that little chicks can't eat all of it, and the apartment is literally littered with game.

Falcons need a lot of space for hunting, they don't look for food in the forest thicket. Kestrel flies in search of food at low altitudes it usually rises by 10-40 meters.

The bird, hovering and fluttering in the air, is on the lookout for prey. Sometimes a predator simply chooses an observation post and rodents wait for them to appear. As soon as the prey appears, the kestrel goes downhill and folds its wings a few meters above the ground, falls to the ground with a stone and takes a "lunch".

A bird can freeze in the air and not move to see such a phenomenon, by the way, is a very big success. When the wind is right, the kestrel places its wings and tail at such an angle that it remains completely motionless in the air.

Flying insectsKestrel bird catches right in the air. When a hawk moves across the surface of the earth, it can catch grasshoppers or other terrestrial insects. Sometimes it is so crowded that it barely soars into the sky.

In most cases, the bird will catch food from the ground, making it impossible to tame for hunting. Very rarely does she use falcon tactics - to kidnap, and then mainly on young birds. Kestrel kills a victim with a sharp and strong beak, hits the head or breaks a vertebra.

This hawk has a habit of stocking up food. Even when no food is needed, the bird will attack the prey and hide it for the future. After a successful hunt, all captured animals belong to the nest. CompetitorKestrel are on the hunt Owls. Only falcons get food during the day and owls at night.

Kestrel visual acuity is 2.5 times that of humans. If people could see like this, they would read a vision test chart at a distance of 100 meters.

Kestrel can sense ultraviolet light through its eyes. This feature allows her to quickly find rodents when their urine is glowing.

The number of birds depends on the availability of the feed. The more rodents in a given place, the more birds. Pesticides used to control pests also affect the number of kestrels as there is less food for them.

Reproduction and longevity

Common kestrels reach puberty one year after birth. The breeding season for birds begins in spring. The female attracts the male with a strange sound, making it clear that it is ready for fertilization.

The male begins to do various pirouettes in the air and brings the lady food, which wins her heart. A male person chooses a home and brings his chosen one there.

During hatching and growth, the offspring of birds can form colonies, including dozens of pairs. Together they coexist peacefully in one area.

For about a month, mostly the female incubates eggs, sometimes the male replaces them, but mostly he brings the food. The minimum number of eggs laid is 2 and the maximum is 8. Usually there are 3-6 eggs in a nest.

Snow-white chicks appear. The beak and claws are the same color. Only after seven days do they begin to turn gray, and the claws - black. The mother feeds the babies herself for a week, then the father joins this process too.

Chicks eat a lot. Every day they eat food that is one third of their weight. When the time is right, chicks are given several rodents a day, sometimes you have to be content with less.

They grow up quickly and will fly out of the nest in a month, but they do not leave their parents. They learn to get food for another month and need adult help from time to time.

Half of the chicks don't live to grow up. Magpies can destroy the house and the marten destroy the nest. Numerous mosquitoes and parasites also affect their survival.

Sometimes adults use their beaks to stick ants in their feathers and rid them of pests. The kestrel can live up to 16 years in nature and up to 24 years in captivity.

The little falcon is very quick-witted, sometimes adapts to adverse circumstances and easily gets used to people.

It is now very popular to keep small birds of prey at home.Buy kestrel is not very difficult and you will get another family member and everyone's favorite.

Watch the video: Kestrel - Wanted Poster Appearance, Reputation, Habitat and Food (May 2021).