Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)


Taxonomy

French: Faucon crécerellette German: Rötelfalke Spanish: Cernícalo primilla
Taxonomy:

Falco Naumanni

Fleischer

, 1818,

southern Germany and Switzerland; error = Sicily

.

Has hybridized with F. tinnunculus#R. Monotypic. Validity of former race pekinensis, for the birds of the easternmost part of the distribution area, has recently been advocated#R.

Distribution:

Iberia, S France and N Africa E through SE Europe, Asia Minor, Levant and Iran to S Siberia, Mongolia and N China (E to Inner Mongolia and W Shandong). Winters in Africa S of Sahara; also in Mediterranean#R region and locally in parts of S Asia.

Descriptive notes

29–32 cm; male 90–172 g, female 138–208 g; wingspan 58–73 cm. Unspotted above; greater upperwing-coverts blue-grey; underparts less spotted than in... read more

Voice

Mainly silent, except around breeding sites, when gives high-pitched, rasping “chay chay... read more

Habitat

Open areas in hot, dry climates; little or low vegetation, e.g. steppe, pastures, semi desert,... read more

Food and feeding

Fair variety of aerial and terrestrial insects, often constituting over 90% of prey. Mainly Orthoptera (grasshoppers, locusts, crickets)... read more

Breeding

Laying mainly in May; in NW Africa and S Spain from mid Apr. Colonial, normally in groups of no more than 25 pairs, occasionally as few as... read more

Movements

Mainly trans-Saharan migrant, although some birds winter in NW Africa and in various regions of S... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Drastic and apparently widespread decline in second half of 20th century which led the species to be treated as Vulnerable... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53212 on 24 November 2017).