- Falco rupicolus
27–35 cm (10½-13¾ in) - Female is larger than male.
- Black spotting on rufous upperparts.
- Light underwing, lightly barred.
- Gray head and tail
- Male has broad black subterminal tail-band tipped with white.
- Female is browner with narrow black tail bars in addition to broad black subterminal band and more streaking on crown.
- Juvenile has head brownish, more heavily streaked with buff tips to flight feathers.
Male Lesser Kestrel has unspotted back, gray greater coverts and unmarked silvery-white underwings. Greater Kestrel is larger with brown head, barred, not spotted upperparts and mostly white underwings.
Wide variety of habitats including fynbos, desert and cliffs; usually close to rocky outcrops.
Forages by hovering over open country, pouncing on prey on the ground. Also hunts from a perch.
Mostly of small mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.
Monogamous. Nest is usually a scrape on cliff ledge but sometimes uses crow's nests or man-made structures where natural sites are unavailable.
Metallic high-pitched kik-kik-kik. Also kreee-kreee notes.
Generally sedentary with local movements.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
- Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
- Orta, J., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2018). Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53213 on 8 July 2018).
- Sinclair, I., Hockey, P.A.R., and Arlott, N. (2005). The Larger Illustrated Guide to Birds of Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town. ISBN 978-1775840992
- BF Member observations
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Rock Kestrel. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 24 February 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Rock_Kestrel