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Do Kestrels fly very high up? --- Almeria, Spain. (1 Viewer)

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Here is another one of my rubbish photos. Saw this bird today whilst out walking. It was extremely high up in the sky (300-400m +). I see lots of kestrels around this area, but I have never seen any fly this high up. It was gliding, didn't even see it flap its wings, slowly flying in circles and then flying a bit farther away and reapeating the process.

Any ideas?

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P1010111.JPG P1010108.JPG
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Thank you Tom. It might be easy to think, that I was convinced, that my answer was correct, but it wasnt. Thanks for give the confident identification, so I can learn!
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Really! Wow! I have been dying to see one for ages, they aren't a normal sighting round here!!!!!
How can you be so sure that it is a peregrine?
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Well, brilliant! Thanks Alexander, very nice photos! And I can absolutely see the similarities between that bird and the one I saw.

Thanks guys :)
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I personally have never seen any Kestrel fly that high. Not saying they can't but I've just never seen it. And yes, I agree. It looks a lot like a Peregrine.
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
Really! Wow! I have been dying to see one for ages, they aren't a normal sighting round here!!!!!
How can you be so sure that it is a peregrine?
Joseph, peregrine flight sillhouette is quite unique, showing the shortest tail among all WP falcon sp (with kestrel having the longest tail) and triangular, broad based wings. as to your other question, kestrels rarely fly that high but sometimes they do. many central/-northern european kestrels migrate a short distance, and when they do sometimes they migrate quite high over ground.
 

KenM

Well-known member
Regarding Kestrels at “height”, I seem to recall (think it was during the’50’s over the midlands) that a pilot flying a small plane observed and reported a Kestrel hovering at great height, a quick look at the altimeter...if memory serves, either 7000 or 11000 feet!! It was looking for ultra violet reflection from rodent urine trails, might give an indication of how incredibly “keen” sighted...birds of prey can be.😮

Cheers
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Joseph, peregrine flight sillhouette is quite unique, showing the shortest tail among all WP falcon sp (with kestrel having the longest tail) and triangular, broad based wings. as to your other question, kestrels rarely fly that high but sometimes they do. many central/-northern european kestrels migrate a short distance, and when they do sometimes they migrate quite high over ground.
That's really helpful info, Lou. Thanks!
Regarding Kestrels at “height”, I seem to recall (think it was during the’50’s over the midlands) that a pilot flying a small plane observed and reported a Kestrel hovering at great height, a quick look at the altimeter...if memory serves, either 7000 or 11000 feet!! It was looking for ultra violet reflection from rodent urine trails, might give an indication of how incredibly “keen” sighted...birds of prey can be.😮

Cheers
And that's just incredible!
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
I'd hesitate to be precise in terms of height but I have seen Common Kestrel at much greater heights than what might be regarded as the 'norm' including catching flying ants when they swarm. I'd say that such behaviour tends to be more frequent with Lesser Kestrel which I've seen in Andalucia very high in the sky apparently feeding, chasing other kestrels, flying back to their colonies and much less commonly even hovering.
 

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