Common Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
Tinnunculus is a diminutive of the Latin tinnulus (which makes a clear sound) refering to the raptor’s song. Its French name ‘crécerelle’ or ‘crécelle’ comes from the Latin crepo (to squeak) and crepito (to emit a dry, repeated sound), still in reference to the bird’s cries. The Common Kestrel is very common even in large cities. A great number of breeding pairs nest in Paris. It hunts by rapidly beating its wings facing into the wind and hovering – known in France as ‘the Holy Spirit’. It has been chosen as the emblem for the department of Indre. As with all hunting and fishing raptors (or direct predators), the female is larger than the male. The head of the male Common Kestrel is bluish-grey, as are the back and sides of its neck. The female has a red tail. The end of the tail for both sexes is black.
First chick hatched at Le Rocher des Aigles : 9 June, 1991
CLASS : Aves
ORDER : Falconiformes
FAMILY : Falconidae
WINGSPAN : 65-82 cm
WEIGHT : Male 136-252 g / Female 154-314 g
CLUTCH SIZE : 3-6 eggs
INCUBATION : 27-31 days
LIFE EXPECTANCY : 15 years
DIET : small mammals, small reptiles, insects and worms.
NATURAL HABITAT : crop-producing regions or sparsely wooded areas; it nests on cliffs, in ruins and in old corvid nests.
RANGE : Asia, Africa and Europe
Conservation status info
LC : Least Concern
The past declines in the species were due to the use of organochlorines and other pesticides in the 1950s and 1960s. Intensive farming over much of Europe has reportedly caused recent recorded declines.