Although a small, relatively easy falcon to see on the island of Ireland, sightings are rarely reported!

They are commonly seen hovering with a splayed tail hunting for small mammals, insects and occasionally small birds. They are found in a variety of open habitats including farmland, moorland, coasts, wetlands, roadside verges and parks. 

Have you seen a Kestrel where you live or out and about?

We want you to get involved and record your kestrel sightings through my contact form and through RaptorMonitor and BTO BirdTrack

Every sighting is valuable for my research and your support is really appreciated!

Why does this matter?

Kestrels are declining on the island of Ireland, however they are encountered too infrequently in Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) for annual trend indices to be generated in Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland they are showing an annual rate of decline of >3% per year.

There is growing evidence that changes in land-use practices are reducing prey availability, increasing persecution and contributing to a decline in reproductive success, and other possible factors include intra-guild predation rates increasing with rises in populations of other raptors and corvids. 

Kestrels provide essential ecosystem services on agricultural land through pest control (eating small mammals) and can be an indicator of the health of the ecosystem. By understanding what is happening to their population, we can gather information about the rest of the animals that depend on this habitat for at least a part of their life-cycle. 

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Report your kestrel sightings below: