This small bird of prey measures 27–33 cm in length with a 63–72 cm wingspan. It resembles a common kestrel but with shorter wings and tail. Males are unspotted above with a blue-grey head and similarly-coloured patches on the upper-wings. Females have an indistinct moustache and slightly paler cheek.
Habitat & Distribution
Lesser Kestrels inhabit open grasslands, steppes, and farmlands, nesting in cavities of buildings or cliffs. Widely distributed in Europe, Lesser Kestrels are found in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, the Balkans, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, and France, with a population of 65,900-85,200 mature individuals.
The main causes of its decline are habitat loss, the use of pesticides in agriculture causing drastic reduction in prey, human poisoning, and reduced breeding success. Furthermore, electrocution and collisions with power cables or wind turbines pose an additional and significant threat to the species.