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Spotted Kestrel
Falco moluccensis

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Increasing.

Other Names: Moluccan Kestrel.

Falco moluccensis
click to enlarge
Distribution: Australasian/Indomalayan. JAVA, BALI, Kangean Island, southern BORNEO, and throughout most of Wallacea. more....

Subspecies: 2 races. F. m. microbalia: SULAWESI, JAVA, and LESSER SUNDAS east to Tanimbar Island; F. m. moluccensis: MOLUCCAS (Morotai and Halmahera south to Buru, Seram and Seram Laut). more....

Taxonomy: Cade (1982) considered this species to be very closely related to and possibly conspecific with the Australian Kestrel, F. cenchroides. These species and the Common Kestrel, F. tinnunculus, may represent clinal variation within the same species or a superspecies (Groombridge et al. 2002), which is consistent with a presumed spread of kestrels from Europe to Asia to Australia.

Movements: Non-migratory (Bildstein and Zalles 2005).

Habitat and Habits: Inhabits Imperata grasslands with scattered trees, lightly wooded cultivation, and the edges of primary and tall secondary forest; also occasionally along logging roads penetrating forests, in clearings within forested areas, and in areas of human habitation, including towns (Coates and Bishop 1997). Occurs singly, or in pairs, occasionally in groups of 5-6 birds. Soars, hovers, and perches in dead trees and on telephone poles. more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on small mammals, birds, lizards, and insects (Coates and Bishop 1997).

Breeding: Nests on Sumba, Indonesia were in the crown of a palm tree, and another was purportedly in the high thatched, peaked roof of a traditonal house (Olsen and Trost 2007). Courting behavior was observed there during the dry season (June-July), and pairs were seen roosting together and mating at the beginning of the wet seasons (December-January) (Olsen and Trost op cit.).

Conservation: Categorized globally as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International.

Important References: 
Boyce, D.A., and C.M. White. 1987. Evolutionary aspects of kestrel
  systematics: a scenario. Pp. 1-21 in D.M. Bird and R. Bowman (eds.), The
  ancestral kestrel. Raptor Research Reports 6:1-21.
Cade, T.J. 1982. Falcons of the world. Cornell University Press, Ithaca,
Clark, W.S. 1994. Greater Kestrel. Pp. 260-261 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Coates, B.J., and K.D. Bishop. 1997. A guide to the birds of Wallacea,
  Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. Dove
  Publications, Alderley, Queensland, Australia.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Olsen, J., and S. Trost. 2007. Diurnal raptors on the Island of Sumba,
  Indonesia, in June/July and December/January 2001-2002. Australian Field
  Ornithology 24:158-166.
van Balen, B.S. 1998. Tropical forest raptors in Indonesia: recent
  information on distribution, status, and conservation. Journal of Raptor
  Research 32:56-63.

Sites of Interest:
Contains original information and nice photos.

Suparman, Usep

Last modified: 10/5/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Spotted Kestrel Falco moluccensis. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 1 Dec. 2020

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