Nankeen Kestrel

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Nankeen Kestrel - Bob Winters

Falco cenchroides


Male 30-35 cm, wing span to 80 cm. The female is larger. Upper body red-brown, wings red-brown, underparts white or yellow-brown with dark streaks. Head light grey with a dark brown/black 'teardrop' through the eye. Tail with a black, rounded tip.


Details
Type
Bird
Group
Animals
Raptor
Biology

Breeds August-December. Nankeen Kestrels hover above open pastures whilst hunting, looking to catch rodents below in the grass. In grasslands of the south, established pairs are resident year round. Three to seven eggs are laid in late winter and incubated by the female alone. Hatching takes place after 26 to 28 days, with the male bringing food to the female. Multiple broods are raised in good seasons.

Distinctive Markings

Black 'teardrop' through eye, rounded black edge on tail. Slim build, small size and distinctive straight-winged hovering habit.

Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Falconiformes
Family
Falconidae
Genus
Falco
Species
cenchroides

Widespread in mainland Australia. Uncommon and non-breeding visitor to Tasmania.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

The smallest Australian falcon. Hovers in mid air and once prey is spotted moves nearer to the ground until it is close enough to pounce.


Interesting Facts
Diet

Carnivore. Eats mainly insects but also small birds, reptiles and mice.

Habitat

Occurs in open grasslands, woodlands, croplands and urban areas.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Audio
Audio samples
Sounds
A shrilll, rapid "keekeekeekeekee" and wavering "keer, keer, keer".