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Wild colony of lesser kestrel settles in Bulgaria after more than 50 years of absence

Photo: greenbalkans.org

The lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni)has returned to Bulgaria at a difficult time, the Green Balkans Wildlife Rescue Team has reported. Strictly observing the current state of emergency in Bulgaria, environmentalists are taking care of the rare birds in the village of Levka, which has become the home of the first wild colonyof this bird after more than 50 years of absence in Bulgaria.

"It is pleasing to see male birds feverishly inspecting the artificial nesting grounds set up by our team in the area," the Rescue Center reported. Some male birds have not yet decided which nesting site to choose for their future family, while others are already vigorously preparing theirs and "inviting their fiancée" to visit it. During the last observation, more than 20 birds were counted. There are already two or three pairs formed, according to Green Balkans.

The lesser kestrel is a small falcon that is very rare in Bulgaria and is protected by the Biodiversity Act. The beautiful bird weighs 140-210 grams and is 32 cm long, with a short, curved beak. It has a wingspan of up to 73 cm and long tail. The bird prefers open areas, overgrown with grass and shrubs, where they lay 4-5 eggs in holes for nearly a month.

This species usually passing over Bulgaria is migrating in unknown numbers over the whole country, as in the past 20 years, it was observed mainly in the Black Sea region. Green Balkans has been working for years on a project for the return of the lesser kestrel to Bulgaria.

Editor: Elena Karkalanova

English: Alexander Markov

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