Why is the Kestrel important?
The kestrel is an important part of the food web and ecosystem as it is a key predator of small rodents, insects and doves, ensuring a balance in the local food web. Additionally, certain species of kestrels have been used for falconry throughout history, though more recently for sport and conservation purposes such as for pest control.
Fun Facts about Kestrels
1. Kestrels are the smallest falcons found in North America.
2. Kestrels have adapted to human habitats, with some living in cities and suburbs.
3. Kestrels are capable of hovering in the air while hunting, allowing them to scan the ground for prey before they swoop in.
4. Kestrels’ eyes have light-sensitive cells to allow them to see in low-light conditions, such as at dawn and dusk.
5. Kestrels will sometimes build a nest inside a human-made structure like a barn rafter or mail box.
6. Kestrels will often use fierce, kamikaze dives to catch their prey such as small rodents, insects, and birds.
7. Kestrels have an excellent sense of hearing and can hunt their prey using sound alone.
8. Kestrels breed from late spring to early autumn, the female typically laying three to seven eggs.
9. Both male and female Kestrels take part in equally in caring for the chicks.
10. Kestrels have a distinctive call- a trilled “Klee-Klee-Klee.”