When equipping the Kestrel, the player can throw it and then press the channeling button to detonate the Kestrel, dealing high AoE damage and returns to the player immediately. This is true for all thrown melee weapons.
This is very useful for regenerating health with Life Strike.
It can explode in this manner when not equipped and thrown, but the explosion timing cannot be controlled and will often damage the user in close quarters.
It should be however noted that finisher attacks can still be executed while the weapon is in the air.
The Ground Finisher's bleed proc damage is based on the Ground Finisher damage (which is 30 * 400% = 120 damage without mods). Therefore, the bleed damage can be increased with anything which affects the Ground Finisher, including Channeling and the Finishing Touch mod.
For example, a Kestrel without any mods will deal 42 damage (= 120 * 35%) per bleed tick. With only a fully leveled Finishing Touch, this is increased to 67 damage and to 100 damage while channeling.
Because bleed damage ignores shields, the Kestrel's Ground Finisher can be made into a potent attack against Corpus, especially when combined Toxin elemental mods.
With Entropy Flight unique to it and Whirlwind, the Kestrel can attain a higher flight speed than any other thrown melee weapon with Whirlwind. This also indirectly increases it's maximum range.
Can be used to instant-kill most bosses by flinging them into a pit while ragdolled. Loot can be found where they last stood. (Possibly a bug)
When used on a boss they can be permanently stunlocked if a Dethcube is firing at it, causing it to reset the recovery animation. This is fixed by shooting him directly.
Can hit theoretically infinite targets on return.
Like with other thrown weapons, using Whirlwind on the Kestrel will increase flight speed as well as distance traveled, because the flight time is constant. A fully leveled Whirlwind will increase the maximum distance to ~63m.
When not in use, the Kestrel sheaths under your right arm.
Ragdolled enemies' health and shield bars are also concealed while ragdolled. Although they usually display damage indicators while ragdolled, sometimes they will not display if you are not the host - giving the impression that the enemy is invulnerable (not the case).
Sometimes it will continuously fly around its user in a circular path indefinitely after bouncing off at least 2 objects, such as two adjacent walls, if the user stands back and stays still afterwards. (Possibly intended but its exact mechanics are unknown, however, Rebound and Whirlwind were installed when this was discovered.)
Simply installing a max rank Entropy Flight mod will also cause this. The Kestrel is considered flying on a return path the entire time, so it punches through everything it hits. If the player moves too quickly, they will catch the Kestrel; however, if it is carefully maintained, it can continually fly around the player and deal large amounts of damage to everyone in the vicinity.
High flight speed, which causes this orbiting behavior, does carry some risk, as a current bug can cause the thrown weapon to disappear, disabling melee for the rest of the level or until the player has died & revived.