Saturday, 3 October 2020

Old World Kestrel


There are a number of species of kestrel, a type of small falcon, around the world, and in France we have  Falco tinnunculus, known in French as le faucon crécerelle. It ranges over Europe, Africa and Asia. This Old World species seems to be very closely related to the Nankeen Kestrel, the Australian species.

Old World Kestrel Falco tinnunculus. Charente-Maritime. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Its typical habitat is open lowland country, so this photo I took of one hovering over the marsh at Brouage in Charente-Maritime is exactly where you would expect to see one. This pose, hovering into the wind whilst scanning the ground for prey, is also typical. Once a tasty vole, shrew or mouse is spotted the bird will pounce. They are small mammal specialists, rarely eating anything else, and will consume about six of the little beasties a day.

They nest in trees or on buildings, and prefer to find a cavity to establish their nest, generally raising two or three chicks.


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chm said...

I remember seeing Kestrels when I was birding in the Salton Sea area.

Susan said...

American Kestrels are apparently not very closely related, and may not even be real kestrels it seems.

Rhodesia said...

Love all the birds of prey and it is a delight to see any of them around. The kestrels though are pretty little birds.
Hope all is well, stay safe Diane

Susan said...

I like kestrels too.

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