Kestrel surprise: silly thread

Even setting aside the numbers issue (vastly more kestrels than peregrines), kestrels have that wind hovering behavior tham makes them more readily visible and easily identifiable.

Kestrels are both more numerous and easier for the average person to recognize, even from a great distance.


I think it is more because iNaturalist started in the USA, so American species have had a big head start in observations.

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:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: I didn’t know that, they are not common where I live so I never thought they would be very common elsewhere. In fact, I’ve never seen one.

I’ve only ever seen a peregrine once (no photos), but I’ve observed hundreds of kestrels. Even though peregrines have a larger range, the kestrel has a much higher population density in most places. Also this has already been said, but yes, iNat has many more North Americans compared to any other regions.


:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: Probably I just didn’t know about the abundance of kestrels.

But here in my area peregrines get somewhat common when wintering, so probably I thought they were that common everywhere.

We lived for a couple of years in Madison, Wisconsin. We went on a trip to Costa Rica to escape winter. Walking through a city there, my kids got very excited, asking, “What are those birds?!” It took me a minute to understand they were pointing at the Rock Doves, city pigeons, and another minute to remember that these are rare in Madison. Whatever bird you don’t have near you is a revelation the first time you see it!


Are pigeons rare in Madison? I thought they were abundant in almost every city!! A PLACE WITHOUT PIGEONS!!! And here in the Yucatan peninsula is probably one of the few places in the World where we have NO HOUSE SPARROWS!

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The only place on the East Side of Madison (where we lived) where I ever saw city pigeons was around the university hospital. And I don’t know that I ever saw more than a few of them anywhere in the city. I suspect the combination of long cold winters, few tall buildings, and a lot of hawks in the city is too much for them.


I don’t know what it is like in other countries, but yes here in Cape Town and the surrounding region Rock Kestrels are far more common and easily seen than most any other Falconidae in the region.

I’ve seen Peregrine Falcons, but they seem to prefer the natural cliffs of Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula mountain chain to the buildings in the city (which aren’t all that tall in any case).

Only once did I see a Lanner Falcon, and that was purely by luck.

Link to my observations of this beautiful bird family


I used to put out birdseed on our windowsill in Zurich. Once I was surprised by a bird who turned large yellow eyes on me in a baleful glare. Eye to eye I retreated - so sorry to disturb you!

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Lanner falcon!!! What a cool find!!!

I work on an island in Vietnam and even after being here for nearly 10 years I still find myself surprised by the complete lack of seagull, a bird I find literally every other place I’ve been on the planet, even deep in the Amazon (although not common there).

Rock doves (city pigeons) are also uncommon as wild birds in Vietnam.


Gulls in the Amazon? Is this a joke?

Nope, seen them in the Alto Madidi and Alto Madre de Dios rivers.

Not flocks of them or anything like that, a couple of solitary ones. iNat even has an observation of one in Bolivia near one of the towns I was in. It’s an Andean Gull, but it’s still in the seagull grouping. I wouldn’t be surprised if places like Manaus has occasional seagulls given their propensity for following ships. I don’t see any observations of them there on iNat. The closest I see an observation is a Laughing Gull in Santarém, about 600 km from the ocean, and much further than that from Manaus, but iNat doesn’t have good coverage in some areas, so a lack of an iNat record often doesn’t mean much…

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Can’t believe it, GULLS IN THE AMAZON…
Or well, if I used to see gulls in San Diego Costcos’s foodcore…

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