Nankeen kestrel

Falco cenchroides

The Nankeen Kestrel  is the smallest of Australia’s raptors (other than the male Collared Sparrowhawk). Its wingspan is 66-78 cm, body length  30-35 cm and approximate weight is 163 gram for males and 173 gram for females.

It is fairly common around farmlands and may be seen hovering while searching for mice, insects (grasshoppers and crickets) small birds and reptiles.  Found throughout Australia and off shore islands, but rarely in Tasmania.


Head- male: grey to rufous with darker malar stripe. Female:  rufous with darker malar stripe. Eye- brown with yellow eye ring, cere- yellow

Chest and Belly- buff with rufous streaking, heavier on chest. Wings upper- rufous with dark primary and secondaries. Wings under- pale, faintly barred with dark primary and secondary tips

 Tail- male: pale with barring, thicker bar towards tip with pale edge. Female: rufous with barring. Feet- yellow


Similar to the adult female but with more streaking. Cere and eye ring pale yellow, eyes brown, feet yellow

Status: Not globally or nationally threatened. Recently colonised Norfolk, Lord Howe and Christmas Islands.