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Dickinson's Kestrel | Falco dickinsoni

The Dickinson's Kestrel is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Falconidae bird family group which includes birds such as Falcons.

The description for the Dickinson's Kestrel (Latin name Falco dickinsoni) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Falco dickinsoni can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 185 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 549. You will find a picture of the Dickinson's Kestrel on page 529.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Dickinson's Kestrel between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Dickinson's Kestrel is known in Afrikaans as Dickinsonse Grysvalk.

The Dickinson's Kestrel has a height of 30 cms and weighs around 190 gms. The head is coloured white while the bill is coloured black. The Falco dickinsoni has a white coloured throat, yellow legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is white

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are yellow

Throat is white

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Dickinson's Kestrel strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Dickinson's Kestrel uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Dickinson's Kestrel is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 5 eggs and they are coloured .

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Dickinson's Kestrel is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Dickinson's Kestrel is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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