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Common Kestrel

3 sec / 13 kb

This beautiful, rather small bird of prey is among the most common in Holland. In the 1960's they rapidly disappeared, together with most other birds of prey. Then the insecticide DDT was forbidden and slowly the Kestrels, Buzzards and others returned. Nowadays the Kestrel is everywhere, even in my garden. Many Kestrels can be seen from the car. Along the highways, where there's plenty of food, these little birds are, still in the air, looking downwards for prey or victims of the ever speeding cars.

This bird belongs to the family of Falcons (Falconidae). It is very rare in our garden and can be seen in Holland all year round. The bird is 13" and weighs 280 grams. It lives in almost everywhere mostly. It eats small mammals, young birds and large insects. Compared to the male, the female is more brownish and darker. When it comes down to nesting the Common Kestrel turns out to be an opportunist. The nest is made in april or may, usually on rocks, walls, towers or other buildings, but abandoned nests of other birds of prey are used as well. The four to six eggs need to be bred for 30 days. After hatching it takes the young another 30 days to be able to fly and leave the nest.

Name of this bird in various other languages
Dutch German French Polish Scientific
Torenvalk Turmfalke Faucon crécerelle Pustulka Falco tinnunculus


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