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Kestrel

Irish: Pocaire Gaoithe
Latin: Falco tinnunculus

Description:
Often seen hovering above ground whilst hunting rodents. The adult male has deep chestnut and back and the inner half of the upperwing, contrasting with the dark outer wing and grayish head and tail. The female has a brown upperwing and back which is more heavily barred than the male. Its outerwing is also darker and its tail is heavily barred.

Habitat:
Kestrels are found all over open countryside and even in urban areas, though areas of low prey supply are avoided perhaps especially areas of poor soil quality.

Food:
Field and House Mice, Rats, Pygmy Shrews, small passerines and frogs.

Breeding:
Nests on ledges of cliffs or crags, in old ruins or building ledges or in old nests of other species. No materials added by the kestrel. 5-7 eggs are laid and incubated for 28-31 days and the chicks fledge after 35 days.

Status:
One of Ireland's commonest birds of prey with an estimated population of 10,000 pairs.