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Kestrels are small to medium-sized birds of prey that belong to the family Falconidae. They inhabit various habitats ranging from deserts and grasslands to wetlands and forests. Although kestrels primarily hunt for their food, they also scavenge when necessary. This article will explore what kestrels eat in detail.

Kestrels use two main methods of hunting: hovering and perching. While hovering, they can survey the ground below them in search of prey. When perching on an elevated area, such as a tree or bush, they scan the surrounding areas looking for potential meals. Due to their quick reflexes, kestrels have adapted well to urban environments where rodents often provide easy targets for them.

The diet of kestrels consists mainly of invertebrates such as insects, spiders, and reptiles like lizards and snakes; however, they also feed on small mammals, including mice, voles, and even bats, occasionally. Additionally, some species may supplement their diets with fruits or berries. As carnivores, these birds require large amounts of protein, so they predominantly consume animals rather than plants as part of their daily intake.

Kestrel flying

What Does A Kestrel Eat?

Kestrels are a type of small falcon found in most regions worldwide. They are well-known for their ability to hover in the air while hunting, allowing them to catch prey easily. Kestrels feed on smaller animals, such as rodents, insects, and amphibians, that they can find near their habitats. They also have been known to eat large amounts of berries and other fruit when available.

Kestrels use their sharp vision and fast flying speeds to capture these food sources quickly. Once caught, kestrels swallow their prey whole or tear it apart using their powerful beaks before consuming it. They will often hunt during daylight hours but have been observed hunting at night, especially if insect activity is abundant after dark. Kestrels typically store excess food in caches for later consumption when resources become scarce.

Kestrels provide essential ecosystem services by controlling populations of small pests like mice and voles, which might otherwise cause problems for human agriculture or livestock operations. As predators, kestrels play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems across the globe.

How Much Does A Kestrel Eat?

Kestrels are carnivorous birds that feed on a wide range of prey. Their diet often consists of small mammals, insects, and other invertebrates such as lizards, snakes, and amphibians. In addition to these food sources, they also consume berries, seeds, and grains when available. The amount of food consumed by kestrels depends upon several factors, including the size of the bird and its energy needs during breeding season or migration.

The average daily intake for an adult kestrel is between 20-40 grams per day, but this can vary depending on the type of prey being eaten. For example, larger prey items such as rodents may require more calories than smaller insects which require less energy to digest than their mammalian counterparts.

Additionally, in cold weather, a kestrel will typically eat much more than usual to maintain its body temperature and fuel itself for long flights. Kestrels have powerful beaks and talons, which allow them to capture large insects and small animals like mice with relative ease.

They usually hunt from high vantage points while hovering over open areas where they can spot potential meals below them quickly before swooping down to make their kill. Kestrels are opportunistic hunters meaning they take advantage of whatever food source is available at any given moment, whether it’s a flock of migrating birds or a mouse running across a field—they won’t pass up an easy meal if one presents itself!

In summary, kestrels are highly adaptable predators who rely heavily on various food sources depending on what is readily available at any given time. A single adult kestrel generally consumes between 20-40 grams daily, although this intake can change significantly based on the type and quantity of prey encountered during hunting sessions. Kestrels exhibit opportunistic behavior when looking for food. Hence, they are always ready to seize any opportunity presented before them, regardless if it’s an insect swarm flying through the air or a solitary rodent scurrying across open terrain!

What Does A Kestrel Eat In Winter?

Kestrels are small raptors that feed on various prey, depending on the season. During winter, kestrels primarily eat small mammals and insects such as voles, mice, grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders. They also hunt for larger animals like snakes and lizards, which they can catch with their sharp talons and carry away to consume in solitude.

Kestrels have adapted to seek out food sources during colder periods by spending more time near where people live or near freshly plowed fields for planting. This provides them with an abundance of warm-blooded rodents digging through the soil looking for seeds and other edibles. Additionally, kestrels may search through farmlands for fallen fruits that can be eaten even when temperatures drop too low for most invertebrates to survive.

Kestrels are opportunistic hunters who rely heavily on energy-efficient hunting techniques to compensate for lost calories from fewer active daylight hours during cold weather. To supplement their primary diet of small mammals and insects during wintertime, these birds also actively hunt other available prey items, including amphibians, reptiles, and sometimes even carrion if needed.

What Do Kestrels Drink?

Kestrels, also known as European Kestrels, are a species of falcon that can be found in numerous regions across the world. They have adapted to many different habitats and climates but largely feed on small mammals such as voles, mice, and shrews. Additionally, they will eat insects and other invertebrates, such as spiders or grasshoppers. Thus far, there has been little research done into what kestrels drink.

Observations from field studies suggest kestrels obtain most of their water from natural sources like puddles or ponds. Other than this type of hydration, evidence suggests they may drink dew or take wet food items back to their nests, where they can then consume it later when needed. Some birds may even use the condensation produced by cooling air entering their nest box to quench thirst on hot days; however, more research is required to confirm this hypothesis.

In addition, further investigation could explore potential differences in how much water kestrels typically require compared with other raptors (birds of prey). Such comparisons might help determine if any particular habits exist that separate them from other avian species regarding hydration needs. Understanding these nuances would prove beneficial for conservation efforts that seek to protect endangered bird populations around the globe.

Kestrel close up

What Do Kestrels Feed Their Chicks?

Kestrels, also known as Eurasian sparrowhawks, are a type of small raptor found worldwide. Kestrels feed primarily on small rodents and insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, moths, and crickets; however, they will provide their chicks with larger prey items like lizards or even other birds. When nesting in urban environments, kestrels may also take advantage of food sources such as bread crusts from picnic sites or fish scraps from docks.

Females usually incubate the eggs for 28 to 30 days, while males bring food to them during this time. After hatching, both male and female adults provide food for the young by regurgitating partially digested prey into their mouths.

The females spend more time teaching their offspring how to hunt effectively than the males, who focus mainly on providing sustenance. This can be observed when parents return to the nest site with prey that is too large for one bird but just enough for two chicks—a sign that they understand how much each chick needs to grow properly.

The diet of kestrel chicks tends to vary depending on habitat location and availability of food sources. In areas with abundant rodent populations, these hatchlings become adept hunters at very early stages of life due to their constant exposure to potential prey items. Conversely, if insect populations dominate, then smaller invertebrates make up most of what is fed to young kestrels until they reach maturity later in life.

Kestrels play an important role in ecosystems globally due to their ability to consume a wide range of prey species which helps regulate population dynamics within certain habitats. Therefore understanding what exactly it is that these birds feed their young provides invaluable insight into better managing our environment sensibly so future generations can benefit from its resources responsibly and sustainably for years to come.


Kestrels are small raptors living in various habitats throughout the world. They have adapted to different environments, and their diet is largely based on what is available. Kestrels feed on insects, mice, voles, frogs, lizards, snakes, and small birds. When food is scarce during winter, kestrels may eat berries and other fruits for sustenance.

In addition to hunting for prey, kestrels sometimes scavenge from carcasses or steal from other predators’ kills. Furthermore, they drink water as well as nectar from flowers when it is available.

Finally, once the mating season begins, female kestrels lay eggs which hatch after about four weeks of incubation. The parents then share responsibility for feeding the chicks until they fledge at around six weeks old – usually with an insect-based diet including grasshoppers and crickets.

In conclusion, kestrels can be found across many parts of the world and adapt their diets accordingly depending on the availability of resources in each region. Primarily carnivorous hunters by nature, they typically consume a variety of insects such as beetles and moths as well as rodents like mice and voles; however, additional sources of sustenance include fruit and carrion when necessary.

During the breeding season, these small raptors opt for high-protein foods to provide energy for rearing young chicks, such as grasshoppers or crickets, and drinking water or flower nectar.