Mobbed kestrel caught on M5 camera

A CCTV mast on the M5 in Gloucestershire has captured footage of a kestrel being attacked by a magpie and then a raven. 

The kestrel caught on camera © Highways England
The kestrel caught on camera © Highways England

A young female kestrel has been filmed on CCTV on the M5 in Gloucestershire. 

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She was first seen in October 2016 and has been using the mast as a perch as couple of times each week.

The footage shows the kestrel being mobbed by a magpie and then a raven, checking out her reflection in the camera and struggling to keep her footing during high winds.

With their pointed wings and long tails, kestrels are a familiar sight along UK motorways and other main roads as they use thermals from the road to hover while they look for prey.

“We’ve grown quite fond of our feathered friend since she started visiting the camera,” said Leigh Goodchild, a traffic officer for Highways England.

“She’s squawked and attacked the lens a few times as well but when that happens we try to discourage her from hurting herself by tilting the camera skywards.”

Watch the video

[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3or_Y4mwwMM width:623 height:360]

“Her visits certainly brighten up our day and makes a change from the traffic,” said Goodchild. 

Kestrels are generally recognised by their characteristic hovering hunting technique and will also use perches to look for prey.

There are about 46,000 breeding pairs in the UK.  

Find out more about kestrels in the April issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine (on sale 15 March).

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