At close range the diagnostic whitish eye is obvious. This kestrel is larger and paler brown than Rock Kestrel, and has a whitish underwing; it is distinguished from female Lesser Kestrel by its grey, barred tail, and the lack of moustachial stripes.
Juvenile has a rufous, barred tail, a dark eye and streaked (not barred) flanks.
Dry areas, ranging from open grassland and arid savanna to desert.
A shrill, repeated 'kee-ker-rik', given during display.