kestrel

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English[edit]

A common kestrel.
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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English castrel (staniel, bird of prey), from Middle French cresserelle, crecerelle (bird of prey), derivative of crecelle (rattle, wooden reel), of obscure origin.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

kestrel (plural kestrels)

  1. Any of various small falcons of the genus Falco that hover while hunting.
    • 1878, Hardy, The Return of the Native, book 3 chapter 6
      When she was musing she was a kestrel, which hangs in the air by an invisible motion of its wings.
    • 1917, John Masefield, Up on the Downs
      Up on the downs the red-eyed kestrels hover,
      Eyeing the grass.
      The field mouse flits like a shadow into cover
      As their shadows pass.
  2. The common kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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External links[edit]