10 November, 2009

Common Kestrel

Scientific Name: Falco tinnunculus

Population Estimate: 5M

Range / Habitat: Common and widely distributed throughout Britain. The kestrel has a wide distribution in the rest of the world, from Europe and North Africa, through Eurasia, the Middle East, India, China and Japan.

Field Notes: Small bird of prey, often seen hovering over farmland and at the sides of motorways. The sexes are distinct; in males the rump and tail are bluish grey and unbarred, whereas in females they are brownish-red with dark barring. Their plumage is mainly light chestnut brown with blackish spots on the upperside and buff with narrow blackish streaks on the underside; the remiges are also blackish. Unlike most raptors, they display sexual colour dimorphism with the male having fewer black spots and streaks, as well as a blue-grey cap and tail.

Personal Notes: Seen at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, London.

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