The Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)
As well as the Common Kestrel, Several other
species of Kestrel are known, including the Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)
this being a much smaller bird than the Common Kestrel, and feeding almost
entirely on insects, which it catches with its talons, the common chafers forming its usual prey in places like Palestine. This bird inhabits Mediterranean
areas and, is found in central Asia as far China. It winters in India and
Great numbers of these birds live together, and as they rather
affect the society of mankind, they are fond of building their nests in
convenient crannies in mosques or churches.
They also use existing fractures cliffs to nest in small colonies.
Independently of its smaller size, it may be distinguished from the Common
Kestrel by the whiteness of its claws.
There is a distinct difference of the appearance
of plumage between the male and female Lesser Kestrel. The male has
a blue-grey head, rump and tail. The female has an entirely brown-mottled
and barred plumage. The young birds resemble the adult female.
The adult plumage is acquired at one year of age, at the time of the aquisition
of adult maturity.
The size of the Lesser Kestrel is 29 to 32 centimetres
(around 1 foot), with a wingspan of 59 to 73 cm (23 to 28 and three quarter
inches). The female bird weighs 140 to 210 grams (4.93 to 7.4 ounces)
whereas the lighter male has a weight of 90 to 170 grams (3.17 to 6 oz).
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