Definition of kestrel
: any of various small chiefly Old World falcons (genus Falco) that usually hover in the air while searching for prey: as a : a common Eurasian falcon (F. tinnunculus) b : an American falcon (F. sparverius) having a reddish-brown back and tail and bluish-gray wings
Did You Know?
There are several birds of prey that are called kestrels. Kestrels are noted for hovering while hunting their prey of large insects, birds, and small mammals. Kestrels are mainly Old World birds, but one species, the American kestrel, often called sparrow hawk in the US, is common throughout North and South America. It is about 12 in (30 cm) long, white or yellowish below, and reddish brown and slate-gray above, with colorful markings on the head. The common kestrel of the Old World is larger and less colorful.
Origin and Etymology of kestrel
Middle English castrel, from Middle French crecerelle, from crecelle rattle; from its cry
First Known Use: 15th century
Learn More about kestrel
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kestrel
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