Nankeen Kestrel

Falco cenchroides

These small conspicuous raptors are among the easiest to identify, because they hover not far above the ground in search of prey such as rodents and large insects. They are less likely to be recorded when flying over the suburbs than other raptors, as they are more sedentary in their habits, and not inclined to soar at height. Yet they take up regular residence in city buildings and are common around town edges.

The annual pattern of abundance of the kestrel is unlike that of most other raptors. It peaks in November and dips in February when the Australian Hobby in particular is most recorded. There was a steady decline in numbers over the first ten years of the survey, with numbers fluctuating but trending downwards since then. In the early years, most records were from inner suburbs, while in later years the sightings were more common from the outer areas. Three breeding records show nesting in November and dependent young in December and January. R=63. BR=74.