The Eurasian Kestrel
A Eurasian Kestrel is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Eurasian Kestrels. We have also put together a list of fun Eurasian Kestrel t-shirts, Eurasian Kestrel bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Eurasian Kestrels
The Eurasian Kestrel is a bird of prey that is also referred to as the Common Kestrel. They belong to the Kestrel group in the Falcon family. Just like any other bird in the family, they have a hooked beak to help in tearing flesh from the prey they catch. Despite being seen on the eastern coast of North America, they are widespread in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Their numbers are not threatened worldwide but conservation efforts are still encouraged through artificial nest boxes.
Conservation is necessary for countries whose numbers are declining due to increased agricultural activities leaving their habitats with no food and fewer habitat sites.
Description and Identification
Eurasian Kestrels are the smallest species of raptors — they are 13-15 inches long, with a
wingspan of 26-32 inches. These birds display characteristics of sexual dimorphism as the females
are considerably larger than the males. The wings and tails of these raptors are considerately long in
relation to their bodies. The plumage of these birds is predominantly light brown with black spots
on the upperparts and blackish streaks on the underparts. The flight feathers of these birds are
also black. The plumage of both males and females is different colored — the females have more
black spots and their heads and tails are darker than the heads and tails of the males. Both sexes
have dark spots or streaks under their eyes. Juvenile Eurasian Kestrels have a deeper
resemblance with the females.
Eurasian Kestrel Color Pattern
The male looks fairly different from the female Eurasian Kestrel. Both sexes have a light chestnut brown plumage with black spots on the upper side. They also have a buff with narrow blackish streaks on their underside. Males have a blue-gray cap and tail as well as fewer spots on the back.
Eurasian Kestrel Size
They are fairly small birds when compared to other types of birds in the birds of prey category. Their length ranges from 32-39cm and their wigs span 65-82cm. Their weight is 136-252g.
Eurasian Kestrel Behavior
They hunt for prey while perching or hovering though, hovering yields more prey for them. It can be estimated that hovering yields ten times more prey than when the Common Kestrel is perched on trees and shrubs.
During winter, the birds stick to hunting from perch as the methodology uses less energy.
Eurasian Kestrel Food
Eurasian Kestrels are raptors that gain most of their nourishment by feeding on small mammals.
Mice and voles are animals that are most commonly preyed on by them. Sometimes, Eurasian
Kestrels also feed on reptiles, amphibians, and other birds. In the presence of abundant prey,
these birds have also been known to cache food uneaten by them.
This bird commonly feeds on small rodents like voles, shrews, and mice. They also feed on small birds and bats especially in oceanic islands where mammals are scarce. Rarely do they feed on frogs and lizards.
Eurasian Kestrel Habitat
Eurasian Kestrels frequent open fields with tall grasses and other open areas such as farmlands.
These birds are mostly found in regions with enough open land that is suitable for their hunting
practices. Eurasians Kestrels can also be sighted in marshlands and forested areas. These birds
are capable of occupying space on a variety of altitudes — these altitudes can range from sea
level to almost 16,500 feet.
They can be spotted in open areas with shrubs and trees essential for hunting and perching. They can also easily adapt to human habitats depending on the availability of food.
Range and Migration
Eurasian Kestrels are birds of prey that are widespread in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Sometimes
these birds can also be spotted along the east coast of North America. On rare occasions, a handful
of these birds have been observed as vagrants in areas such as Guam and Saipan in the Marianas.
The breeding range of these birds extends from Great Britain to South Africa. While some
populations of Eurasian Kestrels are migratory, other populations are strictly permanent residents.
Migrating populations generally winter in southern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.
Eurasian Kestrel Life Cycle
The females lay 3-7 eggs per brooding season and incubate them for 28 days before they hatch. The young one will be fed by both parents for 28-32 days when they take their first flight. The bird can live for up to 16 years in the wild or 18 years in captivity.
Eurasian Kestrel Nesting
Eurasian Kestrels often use a number of calls during mating season to attract potential mates.
Although these birds are vocal throughout the year, their talkativeness increases significantly
during the breeding season. One important mating call of male Eurasian Kestrels is “quirrr-rr”
which is repeated by the females if they are interested in mating. Once mated, pairs can be noticed
swiftly flying together. Most pairs formed by Eurasian Kestrel bond for life and only a slight
percentage of males indulge in non-monogamous practices. These birds usually nest in buildings,
trees, ledges, or locate abandoned nests of other birds. These birds never make their own nests,
but they can be observed re-arranging materials present on their chosen nesting sites. Female
Eurasian Kestrels lay 3-7 eggs which are incubated for 26-34 days. These birds are raised under
the care of their parents till they turn 8 weeks old — during this period the juveniles learn sufficient
hunting skills to sustain themselves.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Eurasian Kestrels
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Eurasian Kestrels are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Eurasian Kestrel T-shirts
If you love the Eurasian Kestrel you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Eurasian Kestrel Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Eurasian Kestrel is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Eurasian Kestrel Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Eurasian Kestrel. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Eurasian Kestrels
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Eurasian Kestrels
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.