Belongs to: birds of prey

Compare with: sparrowhawk

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

Also known as: windhover

BoCC Amber list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Common rust-coloured raptor often seen hovering over motorway verges

Habitat: fields, marshes, moors, heath, forests and towns

Common and widespread resident


Male grey and brown with pointed wings; female brown, streaked; 38 cm

Flight very strong and powerful, hovering frequently; sits on telegraph wires and posts

Eats mainly small mammals such as voles, mice and rats, also frogs, worms and large insects, occasionally small birds


Nests on a bare ledge or on top of a tree

One brood mid-April to May; 4-5 white eggs, heavily speckled brown

© Alan Williams

© Val Redman

© Tony Gunton