IMG 1156



The Lesser Kestrel in other languages        

The Lesser Kestrel in Greece          

Kingdom Animals (Animalia) Greek Lesser Kirkinezi Thessaly Kirkineka
Phylum Chordates (Chordata) French Faucon crécerelette  
Class Birds (Aves) German Rötelfalke   Gizikis
Order Falconoformes (Falconiformes) Italian Falco grillaio Ioannina Kilileos
Family Falcons (Falconidae) Spanish Cernicalo primilla Kozani Tiriklis
Genus Falco Portuguese Peneirero das torres Lemnos Anemolatis, Alemonatis
Species naumanni        


Silhouette - size

The Lesser Kestrel is an elegant, small sized falcon, with relatively narrow, pointed wings and a short tail. The male has a thin tail from which it can protrude into the central wedge-shaped wings. It has a length of 29-32 cm, while the tail reaches 11-12 cm and has a wingspan of 58-72 cm. The female weighs about 160 gr and is obviously more bulky than the male weighing 140 gr. The Lesser Kestrel is one of the most bantam Falcons in Europe.



The male has gray head, while the back and upper capping is brown. The tail has a broad, dark stripe on the edge. The female has no contrast and bright colors and is much more dull, with brown head markings visible while the upper has warm brown color which however remains less reddish than the male. The female has dark stripes, spots and tail despite almost always fluted. The stripe on the tip of the tail is somewhat loose.


The Lesser Kestrel can hardly be separated from the Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), a much more common species. However, there are two species with different behavior. The Lesser Kestrel is a colonial species and feeds mainly on insects, while the Kestrel is solitary and feeds mainly on small mammals.


Tzali NCC LK 4  



The Lesser Kestrels are very "talkative" in their breeding colonies, especially the period before they lay their eggs and when the young leave the nest. On wintering areas, large flocks form very noisy perches.


Other species of the same family observed in Greece

Lesser Kestrel is very similar in appearance to the Common Kestrel - although studies have shown that they are not so close related.


Other birds of the genus Falco living in Greece are the Hobbies (Falco subbuteo), Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae), the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), the Merlin (Falco columbarius) and Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus), while during migration the Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) is observed.




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The Project is implemented by the University of Thessaly, in collaboration with the Municipality of Rigas Ferraios, the Management Body of the Eco-development Area of Lake Karla-Mavrovouniou-Kefalovrysou-Velestinou, the Hellenic Ornithological Society and the NCC Ltd, with the financial support of the European Commission

Coordinating beneficiary

Associated beneficiaries

Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλίας - Εργαστήριο Διαχείρισης Οικοσυστημάτων και Βιοποικιλότητας Δήμος Ρήγα ΦεραίουΦορέας Διαχείρισης Περιοχής Οικοανάπτυξης Κάρλας - Μαυροβουνίου - Κεφαλοβρύσου - ΒελεστίνουΕλληνική Ορνιθολογική ΕταιρείαNature Conservation Consultants