Upper plumage reddish brown, spotted with black: cere and feet yellow: claws black: wings reaching to three-fourths the length of the tail.
F. Tinnunculus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. i. p. 29. Kestril, Mont. Orn. Diet. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. pp. 39 and 41. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 47. pis. 17 and 17*.
Entire length fifteen inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) nine lines and a half, (from the gape) ten lines and a half; of the tarsus one inch eight lines; of the tail seven inches seven lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing nine inches ten lines: breadth, wings extended, two feet six inches.
(Male). Crown of the head and nape bluish gray: upper parts reddish brown, with scattered black spots of an angular form: breast, belly, and thighs, white, inclining to reddish, with oblong brown spots: rump bluish gray: tail cinereous, with one broad black bar near the extremity; the tip white: bill bluish: cere, orbits, irides, and feet, yellow. (Female). All the upper parts reddish orange, with transverse bars of dusky brown: tail reddish, with numerous black bars; one broad bar near the extremity, which last is reddish white. (Young). Upper part of the head, and nape, reddish brown with dark streaks; rest of the plumage above with numerous arrow-shaped spots: a blackish streak under each eye, arising from the corners of the mouth, and extending to the neck: tail reddish, with transverse dusky bars in both sexes, as in the adult female: irides brown: cere greenish yellow. (Egg). Mottled all over with dark red brown: in some specimens blotches of red brown upon a pale reddish white ground: long. diam. one inch seven lines; trans, diam. one inch three lines.
A common species; preying principally on mice and insects. Builds in tall trees, and lays from three to five eggs. Hatches towards the end of April or beginning of May.