Nankeen Kestrel

Photo(s): 

Nankeen Kestrel

Falco cenchroides


Breeds August-December. Nankeen Kestrels hover above open pastures whilst hunting, looking to catch rodents below in the grass. In grasslands of the south, established pairs are resident year round. Three to seven eggs are laid in late winter and incubated by the female alone. Hatching takes place after 26 to 28 days, with the male bringing food to the female. Multiple broods are raised in good seasons.


Details Description
Type
Bird
Group
Raptor
Identifying Characteristics

Male 30-35 cm, wing span to 80 cm. The female is larger. Upper body red-brown, wings red-brown, underparts white or yellow-brown with dark streaks. Head light grey with a dark brown/black 'teardrop' through the eye. Tail with a black, rounded tip.

Distinctive Markings

Black 'teardrop' through eye, rounded black edge on tail. Slim build, small size and distinctive straight-winged hovering habit.

Diet

Carnivore. Eats mainly insects but also small birds, reptiles and mice.

Habitat

Occurs in open grasslands, woodlands, croplands and urban areas.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Sounds
A shrilll, rapid "keekeekeekeekee" and wavering "keer, keer, keer".
Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Falconiformes
Family
Falconidae
Genus
Falco
Species
cenchroides
Widespread in mainland Australia. Uncommon and non-breeding visitor to Tasmania.

Distribution maps indicate current and historic locations where species have been sighted.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

Conservation Status
DEPI Advisory List
Not listed
FFG Act
Not listed
EPBC Act
Not listed

The conservation status of species is listed within Victoria and Australia.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI) Advisory List consists of non-statutory advisory lists of rare or threatened flora and fauna within Victoria.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) lists threatened species in Victoria. Under the Act, an Action Statement is produced for each listed species.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation, listing nationally threatened native species and ecological communities.

Audio samples: