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Lesser Kestrels nesting on rocks - a unique colony on the shores of the Sea of ​​Marmara!

Apr. 18, 2022
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"The Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) nests under the roofs of houses, farm buildings, abandoned buildings, as well as on rocks and sheer sandy beaches… ..". This is usually how our story begins in front of visitors and nature lovers interested in the work of Green Balkans for the protection and restoration of rare falcons in Bulgaria.

Nowadays we do not have known nesting colonies of the species, which are located on a natural nesting substrate, such as rocks and sandy shores. There are only a few known nesting habitats of this type, located in the neighbouring territories of Bulgaria in northeastern Greece and the European part of Turkey.

Most recently, the "Life for Lesser Kestrel" LIFE19 NAT/BG/001017 project implemented by the Green Balkans with the support of the European Union's LIFE Program had the opportunity to observe one of these colonies located on the shores of the Marmara Sea in Turkey. Nesting on the rocky shore overhanging the sea, the Lesser Kestrel is especially attractive and interesting to watch.

The Falcons are in a constant struggle for the nesting territories with their persistent neighbours the western jackdaws and demonstrate their "aerobatics" over the sea waters. In addition, access to rocky niches suitable for nesting is limited by a metal net to protect against landslides and landslips, and all this makes the life of the Lesser kestrels in the area quite complicated.

The team of the Green Balkans has been conducting research on Lesser Kestrel in our neighbouring countries for over 10 years, and for this purpose cooperates with non-governmental organizations and institutions at a local level.