What does Common Kestrel eat

by Victor
common kestrel diet

The common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey that can be found in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and Africa. These birds are known for their keen eyesight and agility, which allows them to hunt a variety of prey. In this article, we will explore what the common kestrel eats and how they hunt their prey.

Diet of the Common Kestrel

The common kestrel is a carnivorous bird that feeds mainly on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Their diet can vary depending on their location and the season, but some of their most common prey include:

  • 1. Rodents:

The common kestrel is known to feed on a variety of rodents, including voles, mice, and shrews. These small mammals are often found in fields, meadows, and grasslands, where the kestrel can hunt them from above.

  • 2. Birds:

The common kestrel will also prey on other birds, such as sparrows, larks, and finches. They can catch these birds in mid-air or while they are on the ground.

  • 3. Reptiles:

Kestrels will sometimes feed on lizards and snakes, which can be found in rocky areas or near water sources.

  • 4. Insects:

Although insects make up a small portion of their diet, common kestrels will occasionally feed on beetles, grasshoppers, and other insects.

Hunting Techniques of the Common Kestrel

The common kestrel is a skilled hunter that uses a variety of techniques to catch its prey. One of their most common hunting methods is called hovering. This involves the kestrel flying in place, flapping its wings rapidly to stay in one spot while scanning the ground for prey. Once they spot their target, they will swoop down and grab it with their sharp talons.

Another hunting technique used by kestrels is called stooping. This involves the bird flying high above its prey and then diving down at high speed to catch it. This technique is often used when hunting larger prey, such as rabbits.

The common kestrel also uses its excellent eyesight to hunt. They can see prey from up to 50 meters away and are able to spot their prey even in low light conditions. This allows them to hunt at dusk and dawn when many other predators are less active.

In conclusion, the common kestrel is a skilled hunter that preys on a variety of animals. Their diet mainly consists of small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects, and they use a variety of hunting techniques to catch their prey. With their sharp talons and excellent eyesight, the common kestrel is a formidable predator that plays an important role in many ecosystems.

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