Etymology
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kestrel (n.)
kind of small falcon, windhover, c. 1600, earlier castrell (15c.), probably from Old French cresserele (13c.), earlier cercelle (Modern French crécelle), a word of obscure origin. Perhaps it is related to French crecerelle "rattle," from Latin crepitacillium "small rattle," diminutive of crepitaculum "noisy bell, rattle," from crepitare "to crackle, rattle;" possibly from the old belief that their noise frightened away other hawks. The unetymological -t- probably developed in French.
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windhover (n.)
"kestrel," 1670s, from wind (n.1) + hover; so called from the bird's habit of hovering in the wind. Among the many early names for it was windfucker (1590s).
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