Did the Kestrel kill this Blackbird?
Q While taking my usual morning walk I came across this Kestrel devouring it’s prey. At first I thought it was a small mammal, but as I went closer I found it to be a Blackbird. I thought this quite unusual and questioned had the Kestrel caught it or had it found it already dead? Ann Quayle, Cumbria
A Either is possible, as although Kestrels typically hunt small mammals, plus amphibians and large insects, they will take other birds on occasion. Usually these are smaller or young birds, caught on the ground, and some urban Kestrels in particular have been shown to take relatively large amounts of such prey – to kill a Blackbird you’d imagine a Kestrel would have to take it completely unawares. But Kestrels are also, like most raptors, opportunists, and would probably take a Blackbird that has been killed by a car or cat.