This slightly-built (31 to 36cm) falcon is found in most habitats throughout Australia. When observed, its rich rufous upperparts and pale buff underparts, both sparsely spotted and streaked with black, and black-tipped wings and tail, distinguish it from other similar-sized birds of prey. In open woodland and agricultural areas, where it is most common, the Nankeen Kestrel is often seen hovering a short distance above the ground. By rapidly beating its wings and using its fan-shaped tail as a rudder, it keeps its head and body perfectly still. In this manner it locates the insects, reptiles and small mammals, on which it feeds. The Nankeen Kestrel nests in a wide variety of sites, including tree hollows, caves and even ledges on the outside of buildings.
Scientific name: Falco cenchroides