Today GB and I went to a falconry centre in Chester where we saw the falconer, Sophie Pegg, fly a vulture, a kestrel and a barn owl. This is a female kestrel.
The common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae. It is also known as the European kestrel, Eurasian kestrel, or Old World kestrel. In Britain, where no other kestrel species occurs, it is generally just called "the kestrel". This species occurs over a large range. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America.
When hunting, the common kestrel characteristically hovers about 10–20 m (33–66 ft) above the ground, searching for prey, either by flying into the wind or by soaring using ridge lift. Like most birds of prey, common kestrels have keen eyesight enabling them to spot small prey from a distance. Once prey is sighted, the bird makes a short, steep dive toward the target. It can often be found hunting along the sides of roads and motorways. It is able to see near ultraviolet light, allowing it to detect the urine trails around rodent burrows as they shine in an ultraviolet colour in the sunlight.
Why land on the glove when Sophie's head gives a better view?
The male is a lot more colourful. The lifespan from death from old age can be 16 years or more, however; one was recorded to have lived almost 24 years.
This one as photographed at Pickerings Pasture on the edge of the Mersey about twenty years ago.
And I photographed this one in the wild in St Helens seven years ago.
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I'm a blogger - and nowadays that seems to be my main occupation. Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. There is a saying in Sweden "man måste vara frisk för att orka vara sjuk" ~ "you have to be well to cope with being ill"....
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