A passing migrant during the two migration periods and a winter visitor, both in Cyprus and the Akamas peninsula. Occasionally it breeds in Cyprus. It’s observed mainly singly, flying either in a fast low flight or soaring higher, with characteristic quick wing flapping followed by short gliding. It’s mainly a woodland bird, but during winter it can be seen in many different habitats, even in open areas, although it prefers to be combined with some trees nearby.
It’s specialized to hunt small birds, usually up to the size of a Collared Dove, rarely bigger birds. Usually it flies low, very fast, between bushes and trees, with impressive maneuvers and making a sudden surprise attack to catch its prey.
It’s a small bird of prey, like the Common Kestrel in size. It has relatively short, rounded, broad wings and a long tail, that give it the ability to accomplish its impressive maneuvering skills through the dense vegetation.
The male, which is significantly smaller in size than the female, has a greyish with sky-bluish tint upper body, reddish cheeks and horizontal stripes on chest – belly. The female has a greyish-black upper body, while the under body is pale with grey-brown horizontal stripes.