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Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel

This is a discussion on Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel within the Animals (mammals, birds, insects etc.) forums, part of the Show your photo (Color) - Landscape & Nature (flowers, mountains, storms etc.) category; ...

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    Mad Aussie's Avatar
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    Default Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel

    A pair of Nankeen Kestrels were gracious enough to ignore me while I photographed them at Terrigal. More info on these birds below.

    Num num... Cicada!!

    Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel by AstroVisual, on Flickr

    Nankeen Kestrels, although a Falcon, don't use high speed to catch prey like the Peregrine. They often hover steadily about 10 - 20 metres above a likely spot before folding up and dropping down for the catch.

    Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel by AstroVisual, on Flickr


    Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel by AstroVisual, on Flickr


    Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel by AstroVisual, on Flickr


    Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel by AstroVisual, on Flickr

    This one let me get in close while she devoured her Cicada

    Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel by AstroVisual, on Flickr

    A lizard having a very bad day

    Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel by AstroVisual, on Flickr

    I think she saw me!

    Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel by AstroVisual, on Flickr

    The Australian Kestrel or Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides) is one of the smallest falcons, and unlike many, does not rely on speed to catch its prey. Instead, it simply perches in an exposed position, but it also has a distinctive technique of hovering over crop and grasslands. This bird is thought to be a very close relative of the Common Kestrel, and probably also the Spotted Kestrel. It seems to have evolved of ancestral Common Kestrels dispersing to the Australian region in the Middle PleistoceneŚless than 1 million years agoŚand adapting to local conditions.

    A small, slim falcon (about 31 to 35 centimetres or 12 to 14 inches long), the Nankeen Kestrel is rufous or brown above and white or off-white below, with a black tail tip. Plumage varies considerably in detail, and some birds can look very scruffy, but the slim build, small size and distinctive straight-winged hovering habit make identification easy.

    A very common and easily seen raptor, the Nankeen Kestrel is found in Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands, and is an irregular visitor to New Zealand. It occupies any type of land that is not too densely vegetated, but in particular temperate grasslands and open woodlands. In the tropical north and the sandy deserts of the west, it has a patchy and seasonal distribution.

    Diet is varied, with a large number of insects, but also small birds and reptiles, and in particular, small rodents, mostly mice. Nankeen Kestrels are adaptable and hunt in a number of different ways: of these, simply perching in an exposed position (such as on a dead tree or a telephone pole) and watching for prey is the most common, but it is their habit of hovering motionless over crop and grasslands that is most distinctive.
    Female

    Typically seen singly or in pairs, they can aggregate into loose flocks of up to 30 when conditions are right. Pairs are typically monogamous and may or may not disperse to different areas during the non-breeding season. The nest is any convenient structure: a tree hollow, cliff ledge or disused corvid's nest, for example, and is not modified or added to by the kestrels.

    Three to seven eggs are laid in late winter (usually about four) and incubated by the female alone. Hatching takes place after 26 to 28 days, and the male brings food while the female continues to incubate until the young are close to fledging, at which time the female leaves the nest to hunt for them too. Multiple broods are raised in good seasons.

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    I like the last one, looks like light is propelling the bird and the stripes near eyes r good.
    Some Deep and cool thought!!! Yet to find


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33418492@N08/

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    Lovely series as usual MA! Shot 5 is my fave of the set.
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    Very nice of her to cooperate. I like the 6th one with her sitting on top of the cicadia.

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    2 and 6 for me please...they are all very good MA and thanks for the info.
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    Thanks gang. It was an awesome opportunity. If only I could get a Peregrine to be so accommodating for me...

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    Nice set MA. Shots 4 and 5 for me. These are skittish little guys around here. Most every time I see one he's on the wing before I can get much of a shot. I need some of your luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aubintbay View Post
    Nice set MA. Shots 4 and 5 for me. These are skittish little guys around here. Most every time I see one he's on the wing before I can get much of a shot. I need some of your luck.
    Thanks AB. I don't normally get this lucky... I usually have to work hard for good bird shots, but I'll take it.

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    A beautiful bird and you did a fantastic job capturing it. We have kestrels here in The Pacific Northwest and they are very hard to get near enough to for a good shot. Very nice work, indeed! Rich

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Z View Post
    A beautiful bird and you did a fantastic job capturing it. We have kestrels here in The Pacific Northwest and they are very hard to get near enough to for a good shot. Very nice work, indeed! Rich
    Thanks Rich!

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