Peregrine perching on building


These are small to medium-sized birds of prey with tapered wings and tails. They include kestrels, which hover while searching for food, and the larger, peregrine-like falcons, which are fast-flying, agile and dramatic.

Some are regular migrants, including the lesser kestrel and red-footed falcon, which breed in southern and eastern Europe but winter in Africa; others roam more randomly, such as the peregrine. The kestrel is largely resident in the UK but a migrant in northern Europe. All have sharp, arched claws, large eyes and short, hooked bills with a small notch on the cutting edge.