Common Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus


Status and distribution:
By far the most numerous falcon in the region. A common breeding bird throughout Europe from the British Is and northern Norway south to the Mediterranean and the major Mediterranean islands and from Iberia east to Russia. Also found throughout Turkey and Syria, northern Iraq and Israel, and breeds across North Africa from Morocco to the Nile Valley. Northern and eastern populations are migratory, the remainder resident or with the young birds dispersive. Autumn passage extends from August-November and birds return to southern parts of breeding range in February and as late as June in the north. Kestrels are broad-front migrants but are seen in good numbers along the major migration routes. Out of the breeding range the Kestrel has occurred as a vagrant north to Iceland, the Faroes and Svalbard and also south to the Azores.


Subspecies:
The nominate race is present over most of the Western Palearctic but birds in Egypt and parts of the Middle East are of the smaller and more brightly-coloured race rupicolaeformis. The small and dark canariensis is found on Madeira and the western Canary Islands and the paler , more heavily-spotted dacotiae in the eastern Canary Islands. Again small and dark, the race neglectus occurs in the northern Cape Verde Is and the larger and more rufous alexandri in the south-east of the group.

Habitat:
Today a familiar bird along motorway verges and on farmland but also found in a wide range of open habitats. Requires trees, rocks or buildings for nesting and open grassland, heathland or cultivation with an abundant supply of voles and other small rodents.




DO NOT ASSUME A ZOO WILL TAKE THIS ANIMAL OFF YOU IN THE FUTURE - THEY WILL NOT.


 

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