The grey kestrel is a fairly small and stocky bird of prey with, as its common name suggests, entirely slate grey plumage, which contrasts strongly with its bright yellow eye ring, cere, legs and feet. The head is large, with a heavy black beak and brown eyes, the wings are fairly short and pointed, and the ends of the primary flight feathers are blackish (2) (4) (5). Potentially confused with the sooty falcon, Falco concolor, the grey kestrel is more heavily built, with shorter wings, which do not reach the end of the tail when the bird is perched (4) (6). Male and female grey kestrels are similar in appearance, but males are slightly smaller than the females, while juveniles can be distinguished by the brown wash to the plumage, the paler abdomen, and pale green facial skin (2) (4) (6). The grey kestrel flies with fast, shallow wing beats, interspersed with short glides, usually low over open ground or among trees, but hovering is not commonly seen. The call is a shrill keek-keek-keek, given at the nest, and sometimes a whistling scream (4) (5).
- Faucon ardoisé.
- Length: 30 - 33 cm (2)
- Male weight: 205 - 255 g (2)
- Female weight: 240 - 300 g (2)