jason.birt's picture

Kestrel at St Agnes

Observed: 30th July 2011 By: jason.birtjason.birt’s reputation in Birdsjason.birt’s reputation in Birdsjason.birt’s reputation in Birds
kestrel-1
kestrel-1 1
Description:

The third kestrel entry I have added - perhaps I should have a category entitled "Kestrels I have known and loved"... Anyway, part of the reason for iSpot is to be able to produce a map of sightings - well, I think that's possible... Besides, just because an animal is relatively common that doesn't mean they are not interesting! I think kestrels are fantastic birds: all that biological engineering to be able to hover so precisely. I think this one was a young male: it was diving down at number of potential prey and then eventually landed down on a big, bright green caterpillar. This is when this picture was taken. The picture on the cliff was after feeding.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) interacts

Comments

Perdika's picture

Fantastic photo

... the first one at any rate, for some reason the second isn't being displayed.

Totally agree about kestrels - I love watching them.

Carole

browntrumpet's picture

Kestrel

It looks like an adult female, but i love watching them too.
A female near me is quite bad tempered and often takes it out on Magpies minding their own business!

jason.birt's picture

Ahhh! Now when I come to

Ahhh! Now when I come to think of it... you're right. A little after this picture was taken, we saw a pair of kestrels, one that looked like the one photographed and a scruffy looking smaller one that was constantly calling, especially when the larger one took off... In retrospect the photographed bird and the one that looked like it from the pair were one and the same bird! Thanks for pointing out my mistake!

Jason Birt

ophrys's picture

Juvenile

Adult females and juveniles are not simple to tell apart. The broad buff tips to the primary feathers and the coverts suggests a juvenile, though. The plumage is fresh all over, whereas an adult at this time of year would be undergoing its moult and would show some old, worn feathers still. The grey on the inner tail suggests that this is a young male.

Ian
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browntrumpet's picture

Kestrel

An adult female near us has a grey tail which has black barring.
I've seen a male mating with it to dispel any doubt! I think this happens sometimes with older females, so sexing is not always easy.
I'd also use bulk as a clue as females almost always look a much more solid bird.

ophrys's picture

Kestrel

Yes, an older adult female can develop grey in the tail. Lots of species develop male traits in the female, as they get old. Old female Greenfinches can be very much like a male, with a lot of yellow in the tail and wings, for example. For a juvenile Kestrel, like this, though, any hint of grey would immediately suggest a male bird.

Ian
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

browntrumpet's picture

Kes

Hmm... ok. I respect your opinion.
I would have bet my house on this being a female. Always thought juveniles were more reddish and 'softer' looking. The teardrop looks very well developed.

Ray Turner's picture

How Many

Ophrys how many kestrels have you rung in your career?!

Ray

andrew bradshaw's picture

kestrels

Hi Jason, they are both fantastic photos, like them lots.

Jeff Rothwell's picture

Kestrels

I agree there is nothing boring about Kestrels and I'm not sure that they are quite so common these days. I have been commuting up and down the M1 for years and rarely see Kestrels hovering any more over the verges. I am more likely to see a heron flying over or even a buzzard than a kestrel.
I'm with everyone else here - bring on the Kestrels!