Tailing a Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)   2 comments

Tailing a Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Its been raining a lot the last few days and the sky is usually misty and dark in the early hours of the morning. But still braving the conditions, my son and I made it to Hesarghatta lake yesterday. The lake had dried up ten odd years ago and the lake bed had turned into a grassland – perfect site for raptors. But to our surprise we found that a part of the lake was now under water – thanks to the incessant rains this year. It now resembled a real lake.

There was a light fog cover at ground level, but our perseverance paid off as we came across this female Kestrel. I had never photographed one before so it was even more exciting. We tip toed as close as we could to negate the effects of the bad lighting conditions. With a series of starts and stops we got close enough and the sun god also obliged by coming out for a brief moment.

Common Kestrels are small birds of prey have a long range across Europe and Asia. The males are distinguished by a blue-gray head and a bit of blue gray on the tail as well. So unlike most raptors, the males and females are easy to distinguish in this species. These birds are known to hover over open grasslands looking for prey. Interestingly, they can see near the ultra violet light range which allows them to see the urine traces of its favourite prey (mice) as the urine shines in the ultra violet light of the sun. But given its small size, they are also subject to attack from other aggressive birds like drongos. We saw nearly 4-5 drongos attack this female from time to time.

Luckily, these birds are considered fast breeders and they are currently classified as “Least Concern” as per IUCN status.

2 responses to “Tailing a Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

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  1. great photo!!!

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