Falco Naumanni has grey head, uniform rusty upperparts, buff underparts with black spots. Grey band from carpal to tertials and black flight feathers. Grey tail with black subterminal band. Female and immature rusty with black barring and streaking and paler underparts. Similar spp. Common Kestrel F. tinnunculus is larger. Male lacks grey band on wing and has black spotting on upperparts and moustachial stripe. Voice Kye-kye but weaker and hoarser than F. tinnunculus.

Lesser Kestrelbreeds in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar (to UK), France, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYRO Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Palestinian Authority Territories, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. Birds winter in southern Spain, southern Turkey, Malta and across much of Africa, particularly South Africa.
The world breeding population of the Lesser Kestrel is estimated the world breeding population of the Lesser Kestrel to be 650,000-800,000 pairs. The European population is now estimated at only 15,000-20,000 pairs, and all west Palearctic breeding populations for which data are available have declined during the last thirty years, some dramatically. Population data for Turkey and the former USSR are very sparse.
Since the 1960s populations of Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni throughout the western Palearctic have declined dramatically. This decline may be attributed to a number of factors including restoration and demolition of older buildings (reducing nest-site availability), the urbanisation of formerly open areas (destroying important feeding areas) and intensification of agricultural practices (loss of feeding sites and a reduction in prey availability). Other threats to the Lesser Kestrel include poisoning by pesticides, human persecution and interspecific competition.

Throughout its range, the Lesser Kestrel occurs in open areas, avoiding closed forest, wetlands and farmland with tall crops. In the western Palearctic it is found in continental and forest steppes and semi-deserts at up to 500 m, primarily within the Mediterranean zone. In these areas it forages in meadows, pastures, steppe-like habitats, non-intensively cultivated land and occasionally in scrub and open woodland. It prefers warm or hot areas with short vegetation and patches of bare ground where it can easily find its prey. In southern Spain the Lesser Kestrel forages in areas of non-intensive herbaceous dry cultures, avoiding areas with scrub and trees. In its North African breeding areas and in its winter quarters it forages in savanna, steppe, thornbush vegetation, and on open grassland or farmland (sorghum, peanut, wheat and bean crops). It is usually a colonial breeder, often in the vicinity of human settlements.

The Lesser Kestrel normally breeds in colonies in walls or roofs of old houses, stables, barns, castles or churches; also in tree holes, earth cliffs and in rocks, quarries or heaps of stones. Breeding occurs within and outside cities, but often in the vicinity of human settlements. With the decline of the species, small colonies of fewer than 10 pairs, and single pairs, have become more and more common. There are also mixed colonies, with Jackdaws Corvus monedula, and less frequently with Kestrels F. tinnunculus. Lesser Kestrels are monogamous, and male and female take an equal share in incubation and feeding the young. Clutch size is 2-8, usually 3-5. Some breeding sites are abandoned by late July, and most by mid-August. Lesser Kestrels are gregarious all year; they migrate and winter in flocks and roost communally in single trees or groups of trees.

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