Thirteen different species of raptor have been recorded at Knepp, six of them breeding on site.
Buzzards are now a common sight over Knepp, wheeling overhead with their distinctive cries. Red kites have now also colonised us and are successfully breeding. Both species feed on earthworms, small mammals, carrion and young rabbits – of which there is a plentiful supply at Knepp.
Kestrels also make the most of the small mammal abundance, and can be spotted teaching their young to hunt over the Wildland in the summer.
Sparrowhawks use the scrub to carry out surprise ambushes on their small bird prey, their agile flight allowing them to chase through the scrub and along the hedgerows.
Hobbies are a summer visitor, arriving from tropical Africa to breed in the UK. They can be seen on hot summer days over the Knepp Mill Pond and Hammer Pond catching dragonflies and other insects over the water.
In 2016 we documented our first pair of peregrine falcons, and in 2017 discovered they were nesting in a Scots pine, making them one of the very few tree-breeding pairs in the UK.