London's Kestrel Count

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 81 months ago
London's Kestrel Count

The London Wildlife Trust is asking for your help in counting kestrels. At the last count in 1988, 400 pairs were spotted across every borough but numbers nationwide are on the decline. LWT wants to see if that's also the case in the capital.

If you're anything like us, you wouldn't know a kestrel if it divebombed your head, so here's how to tell you've seen one and not, say, a particularly brown pigeon:

  • Kestrels are the only urban birds that hover for more than a couple of seconds
  • When hovering, its tail will be fanned out
  • When in the air, a kestrel's wings look longer than its body

They tend to hang out round tall buildings, so keep your eyes peeled near St Giles in Covent Garden, the Barbican, Palace of Westminster and Tower of London (don't confuse them with ravens). If you've seen one, you can report it to the LWT and help them out. But mainly we just can't wait to see Londoners channeling their inner Barnsley and shouting "Kes! Kes! Come on Kes!".

Photo by sarniebill1 under a Creative Commons Licence

Last Updated 03 May 2011