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Can You Pet a Banded Kestrel

  • Pet Care

What is a Banded Kestrel?

Banded Kestrels are a species of falcon that are found in India, Africa, and other areas in Asia. They are small birds, with adult males measuring at approximately 21 cm in length and weighing no more than 150 grams. They are predominantly gray and white, with barred underparts and have distinctive rusty-red or orange-red hind quarters. The Banded Kestrel is easily identifiable by the four dark stripes on the back of its wings and tawny cheeks.

Banded Kestrels are territorial and monogamous birds, typically living in pairs that remain together throughout the year. They feed primarily on small insects, lizards, geckos, and small mammals, although they may also occasionally eat small to medium-sized birds.

Banded Kestrel as a pet

Can You Pet a Banded Kestrel?

As with any wild animals, it is unadvisable to try to pet a Banded Kestrel. Although they are not aggressive birds, they are wild animals and should be respected as such. Furthermore, they are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of India and it is illegal to keep them as pets.

While petting a Banded Kestrel is not a safe or wise choice, it is possible to observe their behavior from a distance. Kestrels can be observed most active during the day, often searching for food or defending their territory. When viewed from a comfortable distance, one can appreciate the grace and beauty of this small raptor.

How to “Pet” a Banded Kestrel

If you cannot or choose not to pet a Banded Kestrel, there are other ways to appreciate the beauty and majesty of this species of raptor. One way is to observe their behavior. Unlike other members of the raptor family, the Banded Kestrel prefers to spend a great deal of its time on the ground. This means that, when carefully watched and monitored, the species can be approachable and somewhat interactive.

Another option to “pet” a Banded Kestrel is by placing a suitable perch in a suitable location. A proper perch should be designed to mimic the natural habitat of the bird, allowing it to feel at ease and less intimidated by human presence.

Feeding a Banded Kestrel

Feeding a Banded Kestrel can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. However, it is essential to take the necessary safety precautions when doing so. It is important to remember that food sources should never contain ingredients that are harmful to raptors. Any food fed to a raptor should be both safe and nutritious.

When feeding a Banded Kestrel, small pieces of dried fruit should be avoided and replaced with large chunks that can be easily dislodged with the bird’s beak. It may also be beneficial to provide a variety of insects, such as crickets or mealworms, or small pieces of fresh meat. Whatever food sources you provide, always remember to ensure that it is properly sourced and safe for the animal’s consumption.


Banded Kestrels are captivating birds that can be appreciated from a distance. While it is not recommended to attempt to pet a Banded Kestrel, there are other ways to observe and interact with the species. These include observing their behavior, providing a suitable perch, or feeding them in a safe and controlled environment. Doing so can be a fascinating and educating experience that can bring one closer to appreciating the beauty and complexity of the Banded Kestrel.

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