Lesser Kestrel | Falco naumanni
The Lesser Kestrel is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Falconidae bird family group which includes birds such as Falcons.
The description for the Lesser Kestrel (Latin name Falco naumanni) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Falco naumanni can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 183 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 545. You will find a picture of the Lesser Kestrel on page 529.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Lesser Kestrel between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Lesser Kestrel is known in Afrikaans as Kleinrooivalk.
The Lesser Kestrel has a height of 32 cms and weighs around 140 gms. The head is coloured blue, grey while the bill is coloured black. The Falco naumanni has a white coloured throat, yellow legs and a blue, grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.
The male Falco naumanni has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is blue, grey
Eyes are brown
Bill is black
Legs are yellow
Throat is white
Back is blue, grey
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the ground
This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that?s when the prey comes out in the open.
This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Lesser Kestrel strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Lesser Kestrel is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.
The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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