Rock Kestrel ( Falco rupicolus, family: Falconidae)

rock kestrel kruger national park birds The Rock Kestrel (Latin name Falco rupicolus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 181 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 546 also a picture of the Rock Kestrel on page 529. The Rock Kestrel belongs to the family of birds classified as Falconidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Rock Kestrel is also known by these other names: Kestrel, Eurasian, Kestrel, Common Kestrel.

The Robert's 7 Latin name for Rock Kestrel has changed from Falco tinnunculus in Robert's 6 to Falco rupicolus

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Rock Kestrel is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Rock Kestrel in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Rock Kestrel : see above distribution map.

Kruger Park Rock KestrelIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

The Rock Kestrel is a bird a little bit bigger than a starling. The height of the Rock Kestrel is about 33 cms and its weight is about 230 gms

You will find that the male Rock Kestrel plumage and colours are different to that of the female Rock Kestrel

  • Head is blue, grey.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is grey.
  • Throat is grey.
  • Back is grey, blue.
  • Legs are yellow.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Rock Kestrel feeds on the ground mainly


Other Birds

Smaller animals

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Rock Kestrel is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Falco rupicolus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Rock Kestrel is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are red in colour and number between 1 to 6

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Rock Kestrel are: grasslands and arid areas . The Rock Kestrel is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You will normally see the Rock Kestrel by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Intambanane/Uthebe-thebana

Zulu ... uMathebeni/uTebetebana

Afrikaans ...Kransvalk

German ... Turmfalke

Portuguese ... Peneireiro-vulgar

French ... Faucon crcerelle

Dutch ... Torenvalk

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 181

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,