Scientific Name: Falco rupicoloides Afrikaans Name: Grootrooivalk
Greater Kestrels are essentially an open-country species and they prefer desert to semi-desert conditions there the vegetation cover is no more than 50 cm in height. They are a medium sized kestrel and their diagnostic feature is that they have a whitish-grey eye. This species will hunt form high perches (like powerline) where they have a good view to scan the ground. If nothing high is available then they will use termite mound or rocks to hunt from. They have an interesting habit of caching their prey items and males and females will each have their preferred caching spots.
There is a greater kestrel living at the Sanctuary who is a character indeed. His name is Frankie and he was confiscated out of a parrot cage as juvenile bird. He had been fed mince and developed rickets and still has very bowed legs. He gets tired and sits on his haunches a lot. In the parrot cage he obviously sat in his own feaces and his tail looked a mess. So his captors then cleaned him up by cutting off the offending tail! That is how we met, but he is much better now and you will hear him chatter at the whole world telling anyone who dares to pass what he thinks of them!