The Kestrel (photo by deoroller)

I came across this beautiful poem about the Kestrel, which is a small falcon only a little bigger than a Robin. It’s distinctly colorful and when it hunts, it “hovers” in the currents of the wind.

It was written by Gerard Hopkins and published in 1918. He admires this remarkable bird of prey alluding that it controls the wind as a man might control a horse. The kestrel then suddenly swoops downwards and “rebuffs the big wind”.

The Windhover

I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin,
dapple-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! Then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend; the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird–the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valor and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! And the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it; sheer plod makes plow down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Now that you’ve felt his immense delight for this bird’s prowess and design, watch this video of the kestrel floating on the currents of the wind with its eye to the ground for a tasty morsel.

I loved how Hopkin’s described the Kestrel as “daylight’s dauphin, dapple-drawn Falcon.” You can see in this video the beautiful dapple coloring in its wings. The Kestrel is also known as the “Windhover” as it requires a slight headwind in order to hover.

  • Elle

    The stirring poem, the gorgeous picture and that amazing clip are thoroughly intriguing. The design of the bird is so intricate; it’s ability to hover is so cool. Thanks for the great post.

  • Sara

    Gorgeous photo!!
    My recent post A Perfect Meal or not according to my brother!

  • Lindsey


  • Kari

    here from #commenthour. Love the blog-the poem was beautiful. I would love it if you could stop by blog-Newlyweds on a Budget


  • Stephanie@Geezes

    Stopping by from Comment hour!!
    My recent post Personalized Photo Gifts for Mothers Day

  • Just One Donna

    Beautiful. I love to watch birds of all kinds. They are amazing.

  • foundthemarbles

    Terrific post. That's such a thought provoking poem. Thanks.
    My recent post Celebrities who Give- Idina Menzel &amp Taye Diggs

  • ManWifeDog

    Wow, fascinating post. What a lovely bird!! Visiting from SITS commenthour. "Hi!"
    My recent post Dear Husband- There Is A Reason I Always Misspell The Word Definitely

    • falconerswife

      Thanks for visiting – I just visited your blog and love it!

  • Holly

    Nice! We had an American kestrel that would come every fall/winter and perch on our fence to look for things to eat. My husband made a nesting box for him. Next thing we know, a northern screech owl took up residence in the nesting box! The kestrel still came for a while. We liked seeing him.

    • falconerswife

      Wow – it must have been amazing having an owl so near!

  • Julie G

    An amazing video of a most striking bird! What a sight to see. Wonderful post. A joy to visit your splendid blog!
    My recent post Spring Visitors

    • falconerswife

      Thank you so much! The photos on your blog are just magnificent. I could stare at them all day :)

  • Austin Girl

    These birds are hauntingly elegant. I love how your writing is so organic and captures their essence. Lovely poem. Just beautiful. Stopping by for #commenthour

    • falconerswife

      Thank you so much!

  • 2Commentaristas

    Fantastic post and such elegant birds. Great poem as well!

    Stopping by from #CommentHour
    My recent post Mirror- Mirror On The Wall…

  • @TryItMom

    Gorgeous! And I love that you included the poem

  • Meg O.

    Gorgeous birds, beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing!

    Stopping by from #commenthour! -Meg

  • Dawn@LightenUp!

    Gorgeous photos and poems – I love Kestrels! Stopping by and following from the LBS Tea Party.Come see me at LightenUp!
    My recent post Crappity-Crap New Puppy All My Fault

  • Ann

    I love the video. I saw a kestrel the other day–had to do a little research to see what it was. Just visiting from the LBS Tea Party. Thanks for this beauty, it makes my day!

  • solidgoldcreativity

    Wow! Magnificent.

Post Navigation