Nankeen kestrel

29/07/06 Nankeen kestrel in the Far North, New Zealand

Following a tip off from the Far North, Brent headed up to check out a report of a nankeen kestrel. Spent the entire afternoon looking for it and finally managed to find the bird on dusk. The bird has apparently been around the area since April, but the locals have kept the appearance of the bird fairly quiet. It appeared after a top-dressing accident and so the locals have the explicit wish that the bird not be disturbed and the location where it is being seen treated with some sensitivity.

The bird appears to be in good health, and since this sighting has been observed killing and eating a goldfinch! It is obviously a male, possibly a young bird showing some streaking along the sides of the breast, and a buffy partial collar. A ‘twitchable’ nankeen kestrel has not been present within New Zealand since about 1990, so this was a welcome addition to Brent’s NZ list!