One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small falcon that hovers with rapidly beating wings while searching for prey on the ground.
- ‘The high casualty rate among smaller birds can be partly attributed to the depredations of their natural predators, the sparrow hawk and kestrel.’
- ‘With plenty of smaller birds and rabbits to prey on, all around the island kestrels hover, buzzards glide and peregrine falcons swoop.’
- ‘After owls, U.K. government figures identify kestrels, common buzzards, and peregrine falcons as other raptors most likely to end up as roadkill.’
- ‘Birds of prey also suffered, with many sparrowhawks and kestrels too badly injured to survive, though many owls were successfully treated and released.’
- ‘As they follow the coast, kestrels often hover above marshes and grasslands, waiting to pounce on rodents, small birds, and insects.’
- ‘Look for the soaring rough-legged hawk and the hovering kestrel as each hunts for ground squirrels and other rodents.’
- ‘Biologists live-captured dozens of owls, kestrels, hawks and peregrine falcons, which might have fed on poisoned rats, and temporarily held them in captivity.’
- ‘The result is the area has become a wildlife sanctuary with otters returning, and residents including white egrets, herons, kestrels and dozens of wild flowers.’
- ‘Falcons and kestrels can be found almost everywhere and capture the imagination wherever they soar.’
- ‘The couple collected breeds of birds from every continent, including pheasants, herons, ibis, kestrels and buzzards.’
- ‘Farmland birds that fared particularly well included kestrels, greenfinches and stock doves.’
- ‘Children were thrilled to be able to stroke a beautiful barn owl, while an enormous eagle owl, a tawny owl, a kestrel and a turkey vulture called George looked on.’
- ‘The array of birds included a hen harrier, barn owls, kingfishers, sparrowhawks, long-eared owls, kestrels and woodpeckers.’
- ‘At nesting time the parents become bold and pugnacious attacking crows, magpies, cuckoos and kestrels crossing their territory.’
- ‘Disturbance after eggs are laid provides opportunities for predation by carrion crows, jays, kestrels, magpies, foxes and mink.’
- ‘A kestrel hovers in one spot over a meadow, then moves on, only to hover again in a new location.’
- ‘Otters, badgers, kestrels, lapwing, buzzards and kingfishers are just a few of the animals and birds under threat along the Clanrye River between the Belfast and Tandragee Roads north of Newry.’
- ‘Most observations relate to larks, pipits and finches but kestrels are capable of taking such quarry as fieldfares, turtle doves and lapwing.’
- ‘The most common bird of prey is the kestrel, which feeds chiefly on rodents such as mice and voles but will occasionally take small birds, beetles, small frogs, etc.’
- ‘They are important hunting grounds for the kestrel and barn owl.’
Late Middle English castrel, perhaps from casserelle, dialect variant of Old French crecerelle, perhaps imitative of its call.
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