Kestrels show a pronounced sexual dimorphism in their plumage. The most striking distinguishing feature between male and female kestrels is the head colouration. Males have a gray head, while females are uniformly reddish brown in colour. Males also have small black and sometimes diamond-shaped spots on their reddish-brown backs. Their uppertail coverts, as well as the rear back and tail feathers are also light gray. The tail feathers has a distinct black terminal band with a white fringe. The underpart is pale cream and only very lightly mottled or streaked with brown. The underbelly and underwing coverts are nearly white.
The adult female is darkly cross-banded on the back. Unlike the male, the tail feathers are brown and also show several transverse stripes and a distinct terminal band. The underpart is also darker than on the male and shows heavier spotting. Juvenile birds are similar to females in their plumage. However, their wings appear rounder and shorter than adult kestrels. In addition, the tips of the primaries have lighter fringes. Ceroma and eye ring, which are yellow in adult birds, are light blue to greenish yellow in juveniles.
In both sexes, the tail is rounded as the outer tail feathers are shorter than the middle tail feathers. In adult birds, the wing tips reach the end of the tail. The legs are rich yellow, the talons black.
The kestrel is an adaptable species that can be found in a variety of habitats. In general, kestrels avoid both dense closed forests and completely treeless steppes. In Central Europe, it is a common bird of the cultivated landscape, which can live wherever there are shrubs or forest edges. Basically, it needs open areas with low vegetation for hunting. Where trees are absent, it uses the poles of power lines as nesting sites.
In addition to the presence of nesting opportunities, it is primarily the availability of prey that influences which habitats are occupied by the kestrel. If prey is sufficiently available, it shows great adaptation to different heights.
The city presents dangers for the animals. Falcons regularly collide with cars or crash into windows. Young falcons can fall out of the nesting niche and are found weakened. Up to 50 animals are cared for annually in the two stations of the Berlin kestrel expert group.
The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turmfalke). On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“licence. Status: 17 December 2021