General Description

Upper body red-brown, wings red-brown, underparts white or yellow-brown with dark streaks. Head light grey with a dark brown stripe below the eye. Tail with black, rounded tip. Body up to 36 cm long.


The Nankeen Kestrel is the smallest falcon in Australia and one of the most commonly seen. They prefer open country, such as farmland and grasslands, where they can hover, looking for their prey. They hunt a variety of small rodents, lizards and birds, and sometimes insects, usually taking them from the ground though they will sometimes catch prey on the wing. Nankeen Kestrels usually nest in eucalypts or hollows in rock faces where females lay and incubate three to five eggs. Pairs will often breed together in successive breeding seasons and return to the same nest sites. Nankeen Kestrels are often seen perching on telegraph poles.


Mainland Australia and Tasmania.


Open grasslands, croplands and urban areas.

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