Scientific classification
Binomial name
Falco tinnunculus
The Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey. It belongs to the falcon family Falconidae.

The kestrel is widespread in Europe, Asia and Africa. It is a medium sized, long-winged and long-tailed species. The female is slightly larger than the male, both are speckled brown, with the male having a blue-grey head and tail.

These birds are 34 - 38cm in length with a wingspan of 70-80cm, weighing 155g (male) and 190g (female).

This is a diurnal bird of open country such as fields, heaths and marshland. Its distinctive method of hunting renders it very visible to casual observers, especially since it often does so on the sides of busy roads. It hovers at a height of 10-20m, almost stationary, searching the ground below, then makes a short steep dive towards the target.

The Kestrel's main prey is small mammals (especially voles), but they will eat small birds, large insects, even earthworms or frogs.

Kestrels nest on buildings or reuse the old nests of corvids.

Also known as Cernícalo vulgar (Spanish), Gheppio (Italian), Faucon crécerelle (French), Torenvalk (Dutch), Turmfalke (German).

There are several other falcons named as kestrels; these include the American Kestrel, Falco sparverius, and the Lesser Kestrel, Falco naumannii.