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Unique Pictures of Lesser Kestrel in the Snowy Sakar Mountain

Unique Pictures of Lesser Kestrel in the Snowy Sakar Mountain

27.02.2018
We have no knowledge of similar pictures of Lesser Kestrels in snowy conditions to have been taken anywhere else in Europe!
 
Little early with their return from Africa, the Lesser Kestrel have found themselves in the grasp of winter and snow in Sakar. The rare birds, usually spending their winters in the snowless southern areas, have met with a new challenge. The snow in Sakar surprised three of the rare falcons, which have returned in the home colony, set up by Green Balkans in Sakar SPA, part of NATURA 2000. In Europe these birds are breeding, mainly, in the southern parts of the continent, and, considering, that they migrate south, there are no, until now, documented Lesser Kestrels in the snow.
 
The Green Balkans’ team was not idle and quickly organized feeding of the birds, in order to aid with their survival in the heavy conditions. The rare photography was taken by Steliana Stamova, part of the local “Nature Park Sakar” society.
The literary data shows that small numbers of these rare birds spend the winter in Spain and Sicily, but these areas are almost snowless.
 
Thanks to the strong connection to the home colony in the Levka village area, the birds’ biological clock compels them to return to their nesting area in the same time for the last three consecutive years.
 
We, from Green Balkans’, have already shared the news for the male Kestrels, BFZ, which in 2016 and 2017 returned from migration on 23 February, and this year on 24 of the same month. Nonetheless, this is the first case where the snow welcomes these warm-loving birds.
 
On order to take care of them the team will continue with the artificial feeding with specialized food, suitable for the rare falcons, which usually feed with insects, some rodents, and small reptiles. In the snowy conditions, the birds are not prepared to hunt their usual prey under the snow. This is facing them in front of a new challenge for their survival.
 
For further information, please contact:
Gradimir Gradev, Green Balkans, Project Manager
Lesser Kestrel Recovery, LIFE11 NAT/BG/360
Mobile: +359 885 609 289; Е-mail: ggradev@greenbalkans.org