The Kestrel

The kestrel must certainly be included among the species of birds of prey that are typical of Sorrento Peninsula, especially along the coast.

It’s a bird of prey – belonging to the falconidi family – of average weight (slightly bigger than a pigeon) that mainly build a nest on the cliffs of the peninsula.

This bird has a particularly hard sight (useful to see small preys even at very high places), thanks to its ability to turn the neck 180 degrees: it is used to feed on insects, lizards and rodents.

Particularly suggestive, then, is their attitude when hunting. In fact, it’s called by the enthusiasts “the position of the Holy Spirit”.

This because, in pointing their preys, the kestrels are able to be almost immobile in the air (keeping balance thanks to imperceptible movements of the long wings and tail), recalling important religious people.

Males are distinguished from female not only by size, but also for the colour of their feathering. In fact, the former has usually a light grey head and tail with the lower part of
the belly almost entirely white.

The latter, instead, is distinguished for its darker and more spotted feathering on the belly.

Scientifically known as the “Falco tinnunculus”, the kestrel carefully studies the preferred areas for its settlement, avoiding that its nests could be eaten by the other specimens of peregrine Falcon (relatively numerous on the Coast).

Although widely common in the peninsula, these specimens of birds of prey are easily visible in the areas of Marina di Crapolla (Massa Lubrense) and in the so-called “Malacoccola” (the highest area between Sorrento and Sant’Agnello).