Spotted Kestrel: 19 Facts You Won’t Believe


Kestrels are birds of prey that primarily belong to the Old World except for one species, belonging to North America. A spotted kestrel is one of the species of Old World kestrels that are endemic to Indonesia. The spotted kestrel has two subspecies under them that are demarcated by differences in their distribution. It is a small bird of prey that belongs to the falcon family. It is one of the most frequently observed birds of the falcon family. They are one of those species that benefit from forest degradation. Their numbers are speculated to be increasing so they are considered to be of Least Concern.

Widespread deforestation has resulted in the formation of more suitable habitats for these birds. Even though they are recognized by conservation sites, these birds do not occur in any protected areas. They can keep hovering for a long time in search of prey and only come down to the ground when they spot prey. Unlike other migratory kestrels, spotted kestrels are sedentary that rarely move in the winter. If you are in search of more information about these kestrels, keep on reading these facts.

 If you like what you read, do check out Violet-Crowned Hummingbird and yellow-winged blackbird.

Spotted Kestrel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a spotted kestrel?

Spotted kestrels are birds of prey belonging to the falcon family.

What class of animal does a spotted kestrel belong to?

The spotted kestrel of Falconiformes order and Falconidae family belong to the class Aves, the common class for all birds.

How many spotted kestrels are there in the world?

A kestrel is a fairly common bird of prey. Spotted kestrels are occasionally located throughout the country of Indonesia. There is no accurate population estimation for the bird species however, it is assumed that tens of thousands of spotted kestrels are present in the world. The population trend of the spotted kestrel seems to follow an increasing order since land clearing and extension of agricultural pastors have created more areas as their suitable habitats.

Where does a spotted kestrel live?

Spotted kestrels are Old World kestrels that are endemic to Indonesia. Their range extends from the south of Buru and extends up to Java, Bali, and Lesser Sundas that are located east of the Tanimbar Islands. A single pair has been reported from south of Mindanao. They are also found in several other northern and southern islands of Indonesia. Vagrant populations are found in southern parts of Borneo in the winter.

What is a spotted kestrel's habitat?

The spotted kestrel habitat includes a large variety of open habitats. They are found in grasslands, consisting of scattered trees and in light cultivable woods. They occasionally inhabit the edges of some primary forests and secondary forests with tall trees. Once the roads and pavements are filled with nesting materials, these birds slowly move into forests. They can also nest easily in human habitations.

Who does spotted kestrel live with?

Spotted kestrels are mainly solitary birds that are often spotted alone hovering about in search of their prey. Hovering in the search of prey is mainly observed in a single flight.

How long does a spotted kestrel live?

There is no accurate information about the spotted kestrel lifespan however, in general, the kestrel species are known to live four about 4-10 years of age in the wild. In captivity, their lifespan might increase a bit more.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the spotted kestrel in Java lasts from April to August while those breeding in Sumba breed between December and January. The overall breeding season lasts for the entire year. The bird nests in ledges or tree holes. Kestrels often use the nest of other birds like crows as well as other raptors. They nest much higher in the ground, often on the crown of the tree. After breeding, the female birds lay three to six eggs in their nest. The eggs hatch after an incubation period of 27-31 days. The young birds fledge from the nest approximately after 28 days. Both the parents take part in caring for the young ones and they are fed by the females while the males go hunting to find food.

What is their conservation status?

The spotted kestrel is listed as a Least Concern species in the IUCN Red List. They are not threatened globally and do not face any substantial threat throughout their nesting range. In some localities, the nests of kestrels have become rare but in most parts, they are very much active. With a global population exceeding tens of thousands, these birds are regarded as one of the most widespread and abundantly found birds in Indonesia.

Spotted Kestrel Fun Facts

What does a spotted kestrel look like?

Spotted kestrels are small falcons that are found in Indonesia. These birds also show less sexual dimorphism than common kestrels. The males have a light brown plumage with dark-colored spots all over the upper parts and wings. The spots become paler on reaching the lower parts of the body. The birds have a pale throat and the tail is gray in color. The tip of the tail is white and it consists of dark broad bands. The females have darker spots in the underparts than the males. They have dark brown eyes and yellow legs. The young chicks resemble the females but they have a darker and much more spotted plumage.

Spotted kestrel has a carnivorous diet.

We've been unable to source an image of spotted kestrels and have used an image of a common kestrel instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of spotted kestrels, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]

How cute are they?

The sharp features of the spotted kestrel make it a good-looking bird.

How do they communicate?

Spotted kestrels communicate by vocalizations, especially during the breeding season. They have a high-pitched 'keek-keek-keek' shrill.

How big is a spotted kestrel?

The spotted kestrel size ranges between 10-12.5 in (25.4-31.75 cm). They are five times smaller in size than the prairie falcon.

How fast can a spotted kestrel move?

The spotted kestrel can be in flight for a long time by adjusting its wings and tails. However, their speed is unknown.

How much does a spotted kestrel weigh?

The average weight of a spotted kestrel is 0.4 lb (162 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female kestrel is known as cock and hen respectively.

What would you call a baby spotted kestrel?

A young spotted kestrel is known as a chick.

What do they eat?

The spotted kestrel diet is carnivorous in nature. They feed on small mammals like voles, shrews, and mice, doves, waterfowl, large insects, and lizards.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

They can be trained as raptors but they do not make good household pets.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The spotted kestrel has a habit of fluffing its tail while it is perched. This helps these birds to balance while they feed.

What did kestrels use to be called?

The common kestrel was known as an Old World kestrel or Eurasian kestrel and the American kestrel is called sparrow hawk.

How is it different from other kestrels?

The spotted kestrel resembles the common kestrel in appearance and size but the former kestrel species has darker plumage than the latter.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these aracari bird facts and silvered antbird facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable spotted kestrel coloring pages.

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