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any of several small falcons, esp the European Falco tinnunculus, that tend to hover against the wind and feed on small mammals on the ground



(Cerchneis tinnunculus), a bird of prey of the family Falconidae. The body is 31–38 cm long and weighs 160–240 g. The females are larger than the males. The back and tail of the female are reddish yellow with dark transverse stripes; the males have dark speckles above and a gray tail with a dark tip.

The kestrel is found in Europe, Asia (except the Far North), and Africa. It inhabits all zones except the tundra, living both in mountains and on the plains. In the Pamir Mountains the bird has been observed at elevations reaching 4,000 m. In the northern part of its range, the kestrel is a migratory bird. It nests in trees, using the old nests of other birds, on rocky cliffs, and in abandoned buildings. A clutch contains four or five eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 28 days. The birds leave the nest within a month. Kestrels feed on small rodents, insects, lizards, and small birds. They are useful in exterminating rodents.

References in periodicals archive ?
We are not aware of any previous studies examining age group or sex on quality of territories occupied by non-breeding Red-tailed Hawks, but other investigators have reported increased occupation by females of higher quality habitat in other species such as the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) (Smallwood 1987, Ardia and Bildstein 2001).
The majority of American kestrels were observed on utility wires while most ospreys were seen on a nest platform (Table 3).
Six species were admitted >30 times to the IRC, Cooper's Hawk (n=57), Red-tailed Hawk (n=163), American Kestrel (n=268), Eastern Screech-Owl (n=165), Great Horned Owl (n=191), and Barred Owl (n=85), and accounted for 94% of the raptors admitted to the center.
Influence of reduced food availability on growth of captive American Kestrels.
The Southeastern American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in the United States.
Mr Wilkins said McDonagh sold two American kestrels and two little banded goshawks for pounds 900 and, had they all been sold, he would have received around pounds 26,000.
Much to our amazement, we were directly beneath a cut-off limb that served as the perch for what appeared to be four young American kestrels, who ambled back and forth along the branch more than a little curious what was going on beneath them, not to mention wondering just where in the heck Mom flew off to.
Oral VecTest performed well for small samples of American Kestrels (Falco sparverius), Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), and House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus).
Additional projects include establishing a nest box monitoring program for Eastern bluebirds, American kestrels, barn owls and purple martins; planting food plots for wildlife, and installing wood duck nest boxes and a variety of other ongoing projects that enhance and protect Eastman's unused land as a habitat for wildlife.
Objective--To determine the pharmacokinetics of hydromorphone hydrochloride after IV and IM administration in American kestrels (Falco sparverius).
Parental care and behavior of breeding American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) in central Argentina.
The team also partnered with local Boy Scout Troop 141 to construct additional nesting boxes for American Kestrels and other birds.

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