Cannibalism in common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Ezra Haddad, Reuven Yosef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report two separate observations of adult male common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) killing and feeding upon second-year (SY) conspecifics in Israel. On 22 January 2022, while touring the Givat Et Nature Reserve, we observed an SY kestrel locked in aerial combat with an adult. They landed with the SY on his back, who was killed by decapitation by the adult, who continued to feed on the breast muscle. Earlier, on 24 January 2013, in the area of the Latrun Junction, two males were seen in flight with their talons locked together and screeching at each other. Eventually, they crash-landed with the adult on the top and pecking at the SY conspecific. They remained in this position for more than 30 min with the adult plucking the breast feathers of the SY who struggled incessantly but was unable to escape the hold of the adult and eventually succumbed to the injuries. The adult subsequently fed from the breast muscle of the SY. Although avian cannibalism is known in several Falco spp., this is the first reported for the common kestrel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-197
Number of pages3
JournalActa Ethologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • Common kestrel
  • Israel
  • Lethal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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