The Kestrel bird, also known as the European Kestrel, is a small falcon found across Ireland's open countryside. With its striking rust-red plumage and distinctive hovering hunting technique, the Kestrel is a popular sight among bird enthusiasts in Ireland.
The Kestrel, also known as the European Kestrel or Windhover, is a small falcon bird species found in Ireland. Kestrels are slender birds with a short, hooked beak and long, pointed wings. They have a distinctive chestnut-brown back with black spots, a white belly with black bars, and a grey head with a black-streaked crown.
Kestrels are carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey. They primarily hunt small mammals like voles, mice, and shrews, but also eat insects, reptiles, and small birds.
Kestrels can be found in a variety of habitats, including open grasslands, moorlands, farmland, and coastal areas. They prefer open terrain that offers vantage points for hunting and nesting sites.
Kestrels are one of the smallest falcons, with males measuring around 30 cm in length and females slightly larger at 33 cm. Their wingspan ranges from 65 to 82 cm.
Males and females have different plumage, with the male having a blue-grey tail and wings, and a chestnut-brown back with black spots. The female has a brown tail and wings, with darker brown streaks on the feathers.
Kestrels can be found throughout Ireland, but are most commonly seen in open countryside areas like fields, hedgerows, and along motorways.
Kestrels are year-round residents in Ireland and can be seen throughout all seasons.
Kestrels are known for their ability to hover in mid-air as they hunt for prey. They have a unique adaptation where they can hold their head completely still, even in strong winds, which aids in their hunting abilities. Additionally, they have excellent vision, allowing them to spot prey from afar. Despite being a common sight in Ireland, Kestrel populations have been declining in recent years due to habitat loss and pesticide use.