RSPB
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Conservation status: Amber

A familiar sight with its pointed wings and long tail, hovering beside a roadside verge. Numbers of kestrels declined in the 1970s, probably as a result of changes in farming and so it is included on the Amber List. They have adapted readily to man-made environments and can survive right in the centre of cities.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Falco tinnunculus

Family

Falcons and allies (Falconidae)

Where to see them

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.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Small mammals and birds

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-46,000 pairs--

Distribution

Key

Audio

Marco Dragonetti, Xeno-canto