Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Least Concern

Banded Kestrel (Falco zoniventris)


French: Faucon à ventre rayé German: Bindenfalke Spanish: Cernícalo malgache
Other common names: Madagascar Barred Kestrel

Falco (Hypotriorchis) zoniventris

W. K. H. Peters

, 1854,

St Augustin Bay, Madagascar


Sometimes united in subgenus Dissodectes with other grey kestrels F. ardosiaceus and F. dickinsoni; more similar to latter. Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

25–29 cm; c. 180–240 g; wingspan 60–68 cm. Relatively large-headed, with longish tail and medium-short wings. Underparts white, streaked with brown on the... read more


Reportedly rather quiet, but occasionally utters shrill chatter, much like that of other kestrels;... read more


Favours forest edge and woodland up to 2000 m, including secondary forest, clearings, sisal, coffee... read more

Food and feeding

Few data, but predominantly takes small reptiles (including Furcifer and Calumma chameleons, Oplurus and ... read more


Season recorded as Sept–Dec, and perhaps later. Recorded nesting in tree cavities, scrapes among epiphytes (e.g. Phymatodes... read more


No movements recorded within its limited island habitat.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened; formerly considered Near Threatened but now Least Concern. CITES II. Locally common but habitat limited and declining through deforestation. Not more... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Banded Kestrel (Falco zoniventris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).