Lesser Kestrel


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Lesser Kestrel

 

(Cerchneis naumanni), a bird of the family Falconidae of the order Falconiformes. The lesser kestrel ranges from 31 to 34 cm in length. The talons are pale. In the male the back is rust-colored, and the head and tail gray. In the female the upperparts are rust-colored, with dark spots.

The lesser kestrel is found in the steppe zone from northwestern Africa and Spain to northern China. It is migratory, wintering in Africa and southwestern Asia. It breeds in colonies, nesting in burrows, on cliffs, in tree hollows, or even under eaves. A clutch usually contains four or five reddish or ocher speckled eggs. Both the male and female incubate the eggs; the incubation period is about 28 days. The diet consists of insects, small rodents, and lizards. The lesser kestrel is a very beneficial species, destroying grasshoppers and rodents.

References in periodicals archive ?
It is home to several globally threatened species of birds and mammals, such as Syrian Serin Serinus syriacus, Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni, Blanford's Fox Vulpes cana and Nubian Ibex Capra nubiana.
The most diverse group of birds in Gilgit-Baltistan is order Passeriformes and there are some rare species, which not only occur in the area but also breed here such as Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Lesser Kestrel (Sheikh, 2001).
Indirectly, the project actions will help to boost the populations of many bird species, such as waterfowl, waders and raptors, including the pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), the great bittern (Botaurus stellaris), Lanner falcon (Falco biarmicus), red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) and lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni).
Also under threat are 47 wild animals, including Persian leopard, Dalmatio Pelican, large-billed reed warbler, striped hyena, Marco Polo sheep, Markhor, musk deer, wild donkey, red sheep, Blansford's fox, eagle, stone marten and lesser kestrel.
The Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), a small falcon that visits Cyprus on migration in spring and autumn, has been "downlisted" from 'vulnerable' to 'least concern' on a global level, which represents a significant improvement in status.
The photograph is of a Lesser Kestrel, a migratory species I found recently hanging dead on a fence not far from Al Areen, that had been caught for sale in a local bird market for a few dinars.
North Wales' Alan Davies was giving an optics demonstration at Minsmere RSPB in Suffolk when two local birders came rushing in with a photo of a presumed lesser kestrel they had just taken.
Other species threatened by the fires include the Peloponnese wall lizard, lesser kestrel, Corsican red deer, and eastern imperial eagle.
These include the Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii), the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), the Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus), the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus), Bonnelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), the Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae), Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus), Kruper's Nuthatch (Sitta krueperi) and Cinereous Bunting (Emberiza cineracea).
TWO thousand twitchers chartered boats, planes and helicopters to the Isles of Scilly to see the 18th Lesser Kestrel to visit Britain from Spain.
Background: The lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) is a globally endangered falcon whose numbers are very low in Bulgaria.