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About the size of a kestrel with long pointed wings, reminiscent of a giant swift. It has a dashing flight and will chase large insects and small birds like swallows and martins. Prey is often caught in its talons and transferred to its beak in flight. Can accelerate rapidly in flight and is capable of high-speed aerial manoeuvres.
Best looked for hunting over woodland edges, heathlands where there is plenty of large insect prey. Gravel pits are a popular feeding areas in late summer when there is plenty of food.