The kestrel feeds largely on small mammals, especially the short-tailed vole, and small birds such as house sparrows (5). Invertebrates are also very important components of the diet; earthworms taken from cereal fields are particularly important during winter (7). Kestrels hunt by sight, and when hovering they are able to remain still even in strong winds. Upon spotting their quarry, they plunge to the ground, seizing the prey with their talons (8).
Kestrels nest in holes in trees, old buildings or in the abandoned nests of other birds, especially crows (2). From mid-April, between four and five eggs are laid; these are incubated largely by the female for up to 29 days. In their first few days of life, the young are fed by the female on food brought to the nest by the male. Both parents then take on the hunting duties, until the young fledge after 27 to 39 days (5).