January 16th   Leave a comment

Kestrels are half way to being owls. They are often most active at dawn and dusk, taking advantage of when small mammals are most active. And of course, they eat mice, voles and shrews. The numbers of these, particularly voles, boom and bust (cycle) every two or three years and so like owls, kestrel breeding success varies considerably depending on whether it is a “vole” year or not. Kestrels can be flexible though. I have watched them chase and catch birds like meadow pipits, looking and behaving like merlins, dropping on skylarks from a hover or a high perch, or dashing after linnet flocks after a covert approach like a sparrowhawk. Owls pretty much always ambush perched prey and don’t chase in flight. They are slow, surprise predators: dashing around at night, even with spectacular eyesight is not a great idea.


Posted January 16, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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