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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Greater Kestrel

Afrikaans name: Grootrooivalk

Greater Kestrel

Photo © EcoView -

Falco rupicoloides

The Greater Kestrel occurs over much of the interior and western regions of South Africa. Beyond our borders it is found along the south-west coast of Africa and in East Africa. In some parts it is known as the White-eyed Kestrel.

The main prey item of the Greater Kestrel is insects but it will also take small reptiles, birds and rodents. It either hunts from a perch or by hovering in the air.

The pair don't normally make their own nest but rather choose to re-use the nest of other raptors or crows. Quite often nests in man-made structures such as pylons are chosen.

The female can lay up to 7 eggs and she incubates them for a month or so. Once the chicks have hatched then both adults hunt for prey for the chicks. The chicks will remain with the parents for around a year.


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 125

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 229

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 22

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 768

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 70

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 163

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 160

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 130

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 105

List of South African Birds

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