Kestrel

The name kestrel (from French crécerelle, derivative from crécelle, i.e. ratchet) is given to several different members of the falcon genus, Falco. Kestrels are most easily distinguished by their typical hunting behaviour which is to hover at a height of around 10–20 metres (35–65 ft) over open country and swoop down on prey, usually small mammals, lizards or large insects. Other falcons are more adapted to active hunting in flight. In addition, kestrels are notable for usually having mostly brown in their plumage.

Description

Kestrel1
A juvenile American kestrel perched on the roof of a car in Boston

Kestrels can hover in still air, even indoors in barns. Because they face towards any slight wind[1] when hovering, the common kestrel is called a "windhover" in some areas.

Unusual for falcons, plumage often differs between male and female, although as is usual with monogamous raptors the female is slightly larger than the male. This allows a pair to fill different feeding niches over their home range. Kestrels are bold and have adapted well to human encroachment, nesting in buildings and hunting by major roads. Kestrels do not build their own nests, but use nests built by other species.

Most species termed kestrels appear to form a distinct clade among the falcons, as suggested by comparison of mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data [2] and morphology. This seems to have diverged from other Falco around the MiocenePliocene boundary (Messinian to Zanclean, or about 7–3.5 mya). The most basal "true" kestrels are three species from Africa and its surroundings which lack a malar stripe, and in one case have—like other falcons but unlike other true kestrels—large areas of grey in their wings.

Approximately during the Gelasian (Late Pliocene or Early Pleistocene, around 2.5–2 mya), the main lineage of true kestrels emerged; this contains the species characterized by a malar stripe. This too seems to have evolved in Africa and subsequently spread across the Old World until they reached Australia some time during the Middle Pleistocene, less than one million years ago. This group contains several taxa found on Indian Ocean islands. A group of three predominantly grey species from Africa and Madagascar are usually considered kestrels due to their general shape and habits, but are probably distinct from the true kestrels as outlined above.

The American kestrel is the only New World species termed "kestrel". The molecular data of Groombridge[2] as well as morphological peculiarities (like grey wings in males and a black ear-spot) and biogeography, strongly support the view that this species, among the Falco falcons, is not a kestrel at all in the phylogenetic sense but perhaps closer to the hobbies. Other recent DNA analysis takes a similar view that the American kestrel is not a true kestrel, but rather than being linked to the hobbies is more likely genetically more closely related to the larger American falcons such as the aplomado falcon,[3] the peregrine falcon, and prairie falcon.[4] Though the species has not been renamed as a result of these genetic analyses, it is thus likely a descendant of archaic larger falcon ancestors evolved through a process of convergent evolution to fit a similar small prey niche in the ecosystem as the true kestrels.

Groups

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Common kestrel in Iran

Malar-striped clade or common kestrel group

Basal lineage(s) of true kestrels

African grey kestrels (a more distant group)

American kestrel

Vision

Common kestrels are ultraviolet sensitive which allows them to visually locate the trails of voles. These small rodents lay scent trails of urine and faeces that reflect ultraviolet light, making them visible to the kestrels, particularly in the spring before the scent marks are covered by vegetation.[5]

References

  1. ^ Jefferies, Richard (2011). "The Hovering Of The Kestrel". readbookonline.net. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b Groombridge, Jim J.; Jones, Carl G.; Bayes, Michelle K.; van Zyl, Anthony J.; Carrillo, José; Nichols, Richard A.; Bruford, Michael W. (2002). "A molecular phylogeny of African kestrels with reference to divergence across the Indian Ocean". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 25 (2): 267–277. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00254-3. PMID 12414309.
  3. ^ Wink, M., and H. Sauer-Gürth, 2004, "Phylogenetic relationships in diurnal raptors based on nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear marker genes", pp. 483-498 in R.D. Chancellor and B.-U. Meyburg (eds.), Raptors Worldwide, World Working Group on Birds of Prey, Berlin.
  4. ^ Griffiths, C., 1999, "Phylogeny of the Falconidae Inferred from Molecular and Morphological Data", The Auk 116(1):116-130.
  5. ^ Viitala, Jussi; Korplmäki, Erkki; Palokangas, Pälvl; Koivula, Minna (1995). "Attraction of kestrels to vole scent marks visible in ultraviolet light". Nature. 373 (6513): 425–27. doi:10.1038/373425a0.
American kestrel

The American kestrel (Falco sparverius) is the smallest and most common falcon in North America. It has a roughly two-to-one range in size over subspecies and sex, varying in size from about the weight of a blue jay to a mourning dove. It also ranges to South America, and is a well-established species that has evolved seventeen subspecies adapted to different environments and habitats throughout the Americas. It exhibits sexual dimorphism in size (females being moderately larger) and plumage, although both sexes have a rufous back with noticeable barring. Its plumage is colorful and attractive, and juveniles are similar in plumage to adults.

The American kestrel usually hunts in energy-conserving fashion by perching and scanning the ground for prey to ambush, though it also hunts from the air. It sometimes hovers in the air with rapid wing beats while homing in on prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers and other insects, lizards, mice, and small birds (e.g. sparrows). This broad diet has contributed to its wide success as a species. It nests in cavities in trees, cliffs, buildings, and other structures. The female lays three to seven eggs, which both sexes help to incubate.

Its breeding range extends from central and western Alaska across northern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south throughout North America, into central Mexico and the Caribbean. It is a local breeder in Central America and is widely distributed throughout South America. Most birds breeding in Canada and the northern United States migrate south in the winter. It is an occasional vagrant to western Europe.

Based on appearance and behavior it was for many years considered a member of the primarily European and African kestrel clade within the genus falco, but DNA analysis shows the American kestrel to actually be genetically more closely related to the larger American falcons such as the aplomado, peregrine, and prairie falcons. Though the species has not been renamed as a result of these genetic analyses, it is not actually a kestrel in the phylogenetic sense. Instead, a process of convergent evolution to fit a similar small prey niche in the ecosystem as the true kestrels has left it with similar physical characteristics and hunting methods.

The American kestrel is a common bird used in falconry, especially by beginners. Though not as strong a flyer as many other, larger falcons, proper training and weight control by the falconer allows many American kestrels to become effective hunters of birds in the size range of sparrows and starlings, with occasional success against birds up to approximately twice their own weight.

Amur falcon

The Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China before migrating in large flocks across India and over the Arabian Sea to winter in Southern Africa. It was earlier treated as a subspecies of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) and known as the eastern red-footed falcon. Males are dark grey with reddish brown thighs and undertail coverts; reddish orange eye-ring, cere, and feet. Females are duller above, with dark scaly markings on white underparts, an orange eye ring, cere, and legs. Only a pale wash of rufous is visible on their thighs and undertail coverts. Their diet consists mainly of insects, such as termites; during migration over the sea, they are thought to feed on migrating dragonflies.

British Rail HS4000

HS4000 Kestrel was a prototype high-powered mainline diesel locomotive built in 1967 by Brush Traction, Loughborough as a technology demonstrator for potential future British Rail and export orders. The locomotive number is a combination of the initials of Hawker Siddeley (the owners of Brush Traction) and the power rating of its Sulzer diesel engine (4000 HP).It was of Co-Co wheel arrangement and was fitted with a Sulzer 16LVA24 engine rated at 4,000 horsepower (3,000 kW) providing a maximum speed of 110 mph (180 km/h) and weighed 133 tonnes. It was painted in a livery of yellow ochre with a broad chocolate-brown band around the lower bodyside separated by a thin white line running around the body.

Common kestrel

The common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae. It is also known as the European kestrel, Eurasian kestrel, or Old World kestrel. In Britain, where no other kestrel species occurs, it is generally just called "the kestrel".This species occurs over a large range. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America. It has colonized a few oceanic islands, but vagrant individuals are generally rare; in the whole of Micronesia for example, the species was only recorded twice each on Guam and Saipan in the Marianas.

Falcon

Falcons () are birds of prey in the genus Falco, which includes about 40 species. Falcons are widely distributed on all continents of the world except Antarctica, though closely related raptors did occur there in the Eocene.Adult falcons have thin, tapered wings, which enable them to fly at high speed and change direction rapidly. Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers, which make their configuration more like that of a general-purpose bird such as a broad-wing. This makes flying easier while learning the exceptional skills required to be effective hunters as adults. There are many different types of falcon.

The falcons are the largest genus in the Falconinae subfamily of Falconidae, which itself also includes another subfamily comprising caracaras and a few other species. All these birds kill with their beaks, using a "tooth" on the side of their beaks—unlike the hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey in the Accipitridae, which use their feet.

The largest falcon is the gyrfalcon at up to 65 cm in length. The smallest falcons are the kestrels, of which the Seychelles kestrel measures just 25 cm. As with hawks and owls, falcons exhibit sexual dimorphism, with the females typically larger than the males, thus allowing a wider range of prey species.Some small falcons with long, narrow wings are called "hobbies" and some which hover while hunting are called "kestrels".As is the case with many birds of prey, falcons have exceptional powers of vision; the visual acuity of one species has been measured at 2.6 times that of a normal human. Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h), making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth. The fastest recorded dive for one is 390 km/h.

Hawker Hart

The Hawker Hart was a British two-seater biplane light bomber aircraft of the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was designed during the 1920s by Sydney Camm and manufactured by Hawker Aircraft. The Hart was a prominent British aircraft in the inter-war period, but was obsolete and already side-lined for newer monoplane aircraft designs by the start of the Second World War, playing only minor roles in the conflict before being retired.

Several major variants of the Hart were developed, including a navalised version for the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers. Beyond Britain, the Hart would be operated by a number of foreign nations, including Sweden, Yugoslavia, Estonia, South Africa, and Canada.

Hawker Siddeley P.1127

The Hawker P.1127 and the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel FGA.1 are the experimental and development aircraft that led to the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) jet fighter-bomber. P.1127 development began in 1957, taking advantage of the Bristol Engine Company's choice to invest in the creation of the Pegasus vectored-thrust engine. Testing began in July 1960 and by the end of the year the aircraft had achieved both vertical take-off and horizontal flight. The test program also explored the possibility of use upon aircraft carriers, landing on HMS Ark Royal in 1963. The first three aircraft crashed during testing, one at the 1963 Paris Air Show.

Improvements to future development aircraft, such as swept wings and more powerful Pegasus engines, led to the development of the Kestrel. The Kestrel was evaluated by the Tri-partite Evaluation Squadron, made up of military pilots from the United Kingdom, the United States, and West Germany. Later flights were conducted by the U.S. military and NASA.

Related work on a supersonic aircraft, the Hawker Siddeley P.1154, was cancelled in 1965. As a result, the P.1127 (RAF), a variant more closely based on the Kestrel, was ordered into production that year, and named Harrier - the name originally intended for the P.1154 - in 1967. The Harrier served with the UK and several nations, often as a carrier-based aircraft.

Kestrel (Marvel Comics)

Kestrel (John Wraith) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

The character appeared in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine portrayed by Will.i.am.

Kestrel (barque)

The Kestrel was a British barque that was built in 1871 with coal-fueled steam engines and three masts. She spent her career carrying goods across the Atlantic. On 11 February 1895 she was anchored at Santos, near São Paulo, Brazil, when she was caught in a tropical storm. Her anchor chain broke, and she was driven aground on to Boqueirao Beach. All but three crewmen were ashore when the ship was grounded, including Captain Cochrane. The remains of the ship were rediscovered in 2017 after they were uncovered by a storm.

Kestrel (rocket engine)

The Kestrel engine was an LOX/RP-1 pressure-fed rocket engine. The Kestrel engine was developed in the 2000s by SpaceX for upper stage use on the Falcon 1 rocket. Kestrel is no longer being manufactured; the last flight of Falcon 1 was in 2009.

Kestrel was built around the same pintle architecture as the SpaceX Merlin engine but does not have a turbo-pump and is fed only by tank pressure.

Kestrel is ablatively cooled in the chamber and throat and radiatively cooled in the nozzle, which is fabricated from a high strength niobium alloy. As a metal, niobium is highly resistant to cracking compared to carbon-carbon. According to SpaceX, an impact from orbital debris or during stage separation might dent the metal but have no meaningful effect on engine performance. Helium pressurant efficiency is substantially increased via a titanium heat exchanger on the ablative/niobium boundary.Thrust vector control is provided by electro-mechanical actuators on the engine dome for pitch and yaw. Roll control (and attitude control during coast phases) is provided by helium cold gas thrusters.

A TEA-TEB pyrophoric ignition system is used to provide multiple restart capability on the upper stage. In a multi-manifested mission, this design would allow for drop off at different altitudes and inclinations.

Kestrel USA

Kestrel is an American bicycle brand which specializes in high-end bikes for triathlons and road racing. Kestrel has been owned by Advanced Sports International since 2007.Aegis pioneered carbon fiber frame design with the world's very first all-carbon bicycle frame in 1986, based again on the first-ever Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of bicycle frame structure conducted in 1986. With strongly opposed manufacturing philosophies, AEGIS parted ways with members intent on producing frames utilizing the monocoque/one piece construction technique. While the “other half” went West to establish Cycle Composites d/b/a Kestrel. Kestrel set new standards again in 1989, with the launch of the first carbon fork and the debut of the KM40 Airfoil, the first true aero triathlon frame.

Carbon framesets by better-known, mainstream manufacturers such as Giant and, most notably, Trek (with its OCLV frames), have been directly influenced by Kestrel design principles.

Kestrel builds monocoque frames rather than more traditional tube and lug designs. This has always meant that Kestrels have tended to have a very fluid, curved appearance. However, more recent designs from the company have been more angular due to an increased desire to minimise wind resistance.

Lesser kestrel

The lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) is a small falcon. This species breeds from the Mediterranean across Afghanistan and Central Asia, to China and Mongolia. It is a summer migrant, wintering in Africa and Pakistan and sometimes even to India and Iraq. It is rare north of its breeding range, and declining in its European range. The genus name derives from Late Latin falx, falcis, a sickle, referencing the claws of the bird, and the species name commemorates the German naturalist Johann Friedrich Naumann.

Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel

The Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel was a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101 (formerly the EH101) that was being manufactured to replace the United States Marine Corps' Marine One U.S. Presidential transport fleet. Originally marketed for various competitions as the US101, it was developed and manufactured in the US by a consortium headed by Lockheed Martin, consisting of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego (LMSI), AgustaWestland and Bell Helicopter.

In January 2005, the US101 was selected for the VXX Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program, and was promptly re-designated as the VH-71. However, development was subject to delays, cost overruns, and engineering issues; Lockheed attributed much of these issues to unanticipated and extensive modifications being demanded by the government that had been absent from the request for proposal (RFP) issued. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report in 2011 also recognised that a lack of flexibility and compromise on the part of the government had negatively impacted the programme. By late 2008, the cancellation of the VH-71 was looking increasingly likely.

In February 2009, President Barack Obama asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about placing the project on hold or canceling it because of its high cost: over $13 billion for the planned 28 helicopters. In June 2009, the U.S. Navy terminated the contract after spending about $4.4 billion and taking delivery of nine VH-71s. In the aftermath of the cancellation, the delivered helicopters were sold to Canada for $164 million, where they were used as a source of spare parts for its fleet of AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopters.

Mauritius kestrel

The Mauritius kestrel (Falco punctatus) is a bird of prey from the family Falconidae endemic to the forests of Mauritius, where it is restricted to the southwestern plateau's forests, cliffs, and ravines.

It is the most distinct of the Indian Ocean kestrels. It colonized its island home to evolve into a distinct species probably during the Gelasian (Late Pliocene).

It is the most distant living species among the western Indian Ocean kestrels (Groombridge et al. 2002, qv Réunion kestrel).

Nankeen kestrel

The nankeen kestrel (Falco cenchroides) is a raptor native to Australia and New Guinea. It is one of the smallest falcons, and unlike many, does not rely on speed to catch its prey. Instead, it simply perches in an exposed position, but it also has a distinctive technique of hovering over crop and grasslands.

Rolls-Royce Kestrel

The Kestrel or type F is a 22-litre (1,342 Cu In) 700-horsepower (520 kW) class V-12 aircraft engine from Rolls-Royce, their first cast-block engine and the pattern for most of their future piston-engine designs. Used during the interwar period, it provided excellent service on a number of British fighters and bombers of the era, such as the Hawker Fury and Hawker Hart family, and the Handley Page Heyford. The engine also sold to international air forces, and it was even used to power prototypes of German military aircraft types that were later used during the Battle of Britain. Several Kestrel engines remain airworthy today.

Slingsby Kestrel

The Slingsby T.59 Kestrel is a British Open class glider which first flew in August 1970. Of fibreglass construction, it features camber-changing flaps, airbrakes, and a retractable main wheel.

Originally a licensed-built version of the Glasflügel 401, the Kestrel was produced in several variants culminating in the T.59H of 22 metres (72.2 ft) wing span. The type was successful when used in gliding competitions and was the first glider to complete a 1,000 km (621 mi) pre-declared task.

TATA Kestrel

The TATA Kestrel is a modern armoured personnel carrier developed by Tata Motors and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is designed and manufactured in the way of various western APC designs. It was developed with the intention to replace age old Soviet era BMPs and APCs in service with the Indian Army.

Viking Press

Viking Press (formally Viking Penguin, also listed as Viking Books) is an American publishing company now owned by Penguin Random House. It was founded in New York City on March 1, 1925, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim and then acquired by the Penguin Group in 1975.

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