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KESTREL
Falco tinnunculus
Kestrel © Tommy Holden
 

• Population
  changes

• Productivity
  trends

• Additional
  information

Conservation listings
Europe: SPEC category 3, declining
UK: amber (25–50% population decline)
Long-term trend
England: fluctuating, with no long-term trend
UK population size
36,800 pairs in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
Kestrels had recovered from the lethal and sublethal effects of organochlorine pesticides by the mid 1970s, the recovery probably driven by improving nesting success, but subsequently entered a decline which has been linked to the effects of agricultural intensification on farmland habitats and their populations of small mammals (Gibbons et al. 1993). Since the mid 1980s, the English population has fluctuated without a long-term trend being apparent. In Scotland, however, there has been a significant decline since 1994. The failure rate at the egg stage (c.28 days from laying the first egg) has declined substantially since the 1970s; brood sizes increased up to 1990, but a subsequent decline has resulted in the inclusion of Kestrel in the NRS concern list (Leech & Barimore 2008). Despite its decline since the mid 1970s, the Kestrel breeds at high density in mixed farmland across much of England, suggesting that the British population may number more than 50,000 pairs (Clements 2008).
 

Population changes

CBC/BBS England graph
 
Table of population changes for Kestrel

Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS England 39 1967-2006 216 6 -23 53    
  25 1981-2006 293 -21 -35 -1    
  10 1996-2006 548 5 -2 14    
  5 2001-2006 570 5 -2 11    
BBS UK 11 1995-2006 586 -12 -20 -5    
  10 1996-2006 599 -7 -16 0    
  5 2001-2006 657 1 -6 8    
BBS England 11 1995-2006 507 0 -8 8    
  10 1996-2006 517 4 -3 12    
  5 2001-2006 570 5 -1 10    
BBS Scotland 11 1995-2006 42 -40 -56 -17 >25  
  10 1996-2006 42 -34 -50 -12 >25  
  5 2001-2006 44 -13 -34 7    

BBS acknowledgement
 
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
BBS Scotland graph
 

Productivity trends

Table of productivity changes for Kestrel

Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Modelled
in first year
Modelled
in 2006
Change Comment
Clutch size 38 1968-2006 54 None        
Brood size 38 1968-2006 121 Curvilinear 3.74 chicks 3.83 chicks 2.5%  
Daily failure rate (eggs) 38 1968-2006 40 Linear decline 0.55% nests/day 0.09% nests/day -83.6%  
Daily failure rate (chicks) 38 1968-2006 65 Linear decline 0.22% nests/day 0.09% nests/day -59.1%  
Laying date 38 1968-2006 21 Linear decline May 4 Apr 28 -6 days Small sample

 
Clutch size graph
Brood size graph
Egg nest failure graph
Chick nest failure graph
Laying date graph

 

 

Insufficient data on CES
available for this species

 

Additional information

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This report should be cited as:
Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Leech, D.I., Joys, A.C., Noble, D.G.,
Barimore, C., Grantham, M.J., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. (2009).
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2008.
BTO Research Report No. 516. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Iain Downie, Mandy T Andrews and Laura Smith: Last updated 18.02.2009