The Nankeen Kestrel is widespread in Australia, though it occurs only sporadically in Tasmania. Kestrels usually occur in open country, such as grasslands and farmland, and avoid dense forests unless they have been opened up by clearing. They hunt a variety of prey, including small mammals (especially mice), small birds, lizards and insects. Small items may be eaten while flying, but larger prey is taken back to a perch. Kestrels are often attracted to plagues of mice, capturing their prey on the ground by dropping onto them.