10 Kestrel Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

The Kestrel is a peculiar bird. Its ancient name is “windhover”, taken from its penchant for hovering in the air with the wind at its head. This description may invoke images of idleness, but in fact the Kestrel is an extremely adept hunter especially for a bird its size.

Kestrel Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

The Kestrel is the smallest member of the falcon family, and as such it has all of a falcon’s hunting instincts. The Kestrel has an amazing level of accuracy, diving from their perch or hover at the most opportune moment. Much like the heron, the Kestrel waits patiently for the right time to strike. It also has an amazing eyesight, able to detect small movements from a great distance.

Kestrel Symbolism & Meaning

Because of its abilities, the Kestrel has come to mean swiftness of the mind and an ability to see and catch opportunity. This bird is undoubtedly physically capable, but it is its mind that works wonders. Great speed and sharp senses are nothing without a mind that can put them to optimal use.

The Kestrel’s high perch can also be a symbol of vigilance, of being alert and protecting what is yours. It is also a caution against the dangers of a protracted altercation. Because of its small size, the Kestrel would undoubtedly lose when it goes toe-to-toe with its prey. So instead, the bird decides to end confrontations quickly, sometimes before the other party even realizes what is happening.

Kestrel Spirit Animal

When the Kestrel zooms in as your spirit animal, it is important to consider stepping back a bit from the issues in your life and considering the big picture. The way a Kestrel hovers above its potential prey isn’t just so it can clearly see its target. It is also a way for the Kestrel to inspect the immediate surroundings. Using this, the Kestrel can map out not just where its prey is, but also where the prey is going and what potential obstacles from the surroundings can come its way.

By standing back and taking in the view, you could strategize your next move better. While direct action is good, there are more times in life when positioning yourself in advance could lead to more advantages.

Kestrel Power Animal

When you are expecting an event where you have to act fast, call upon the power of the Kestrel. This is especially true if you feel you are disadvantaged in any way. Just like in real battles, it is not always might that wins the game. The Kestrel’s strategic thinking and accurate attacks could help you seal the deal you are looking forward to.

You may also call upon the power of the Kestrel when you are experiencing a time in your life where your emotions are pent up and causing negative effects in your flow. The Kestrel will help you see that emotions, while important, are not supposed to rule your life. Sometimes you have to retreat into the safe confines of logic, above and away from the harrowing everyday currents.

Kestrel Totem Animal

People born under the Kestrel totem are generally very calculating, and can appear very aloof. It is very hard to get an insight on what they think at any given moment, as they may sometimes appear detached from what goes on around them. It is also very difficult to underestimate a Kestrel, because there is always more beneath what you see.

On the other hand, Kestrels are also quite philosophical in their outlooks. They always try to understand life and how things work, and more often than not they succeed. Because they can be disconnected from their surroundings, they do not always make a good leader — but they do make excellent advisors.

Kestrel Native American Symbolism

The Kestrel is among the many animal totems of the Native Americans. Its symbolism, however, merges with that of the hawk, which is a symbol of wakefulness, vigilance, and awareness. This bird is also known for its remarkable speed, and its sharp eyesight. To the tribes that revere the qualities of the Kestrel, it symbolizes a heavenly guide or messenger, and one of the many animals that can carry man’s messages to the spirit world.

Kestrel Celtic Symbolism

The Celts have not assigned any specific meaning to the Kestrel, but the falcon in general (to which the Kestrel also belongs) has been hailed as a symbol of open-mindedness, a sense of balance, and integrity. They are also very focused, using their great abilities to achieve their goals quickly and efficiently.

Kestrel Far Eastern Symbolism

To the Chinese, the Kestrel is also merged with the symbolism of the hawk. The latter is known to be a visionary, who is observant and insightful. It also carries great wisdom that teaches us to decide with care and move quickly once our minds are made up.

Kestrel in Dreams

When the Kestrel appears in your dreams, then you need to start living a vibrant life. And by “vibrant”, we do not just mean carefree. We mean taking in everything, enjoying everything, and positioning yourself so that you can take the most advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.

Kestrel Encounters / Kestrel Omens

When the Kestrel appears in your life, you might need to retreat and regroup for a bit. Advancing head-on has its benefits, but no one can keep it up for too long. Around us, the situation changes drastically, and we also need to take time to adapt before moving forward again.

Kestrel Mythology and Folklore

Being part of the falcon family, the Kestrel also benefits from the symbolisms attributed to the species at large. In ancient Egypt, for example, falcons are manifestations of the god of the sun, and in the Norse pantheon they are attributed to Freya, the goddess of love and fertility. Across various cultures, the falcon is also a symbol of victory and military success.

The Kestrel may be small, but it cannot be underestimated both in terms of its abilities and in the meaning it imparts to those who are willing to listen.

2 thoughts on “10 Kestrel Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal”

  1. Linda says:

    About a year ago an American kestrel appeared on my window sill with a small prey it was a small bird. How do I know what this means is the kestrel my spirit animal and how do I know?

    1. Vicky says:

      It appeared there and if it resonates just adopt it as your Spirit animal. It’s that simple!

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