Atlas of nesting birds in Bulgaria

Lesser Kestrel

(Falco naumanni)

Category of conservation concern (IUCN, 2020) – Least Concern

Population size: 2020: 24-27 pairs (2007: 20–40 pairs)

Distribution pattern

With two isolated localities – in Burgas and in the village of Levka, Svilengrad District. Until the end of the last century definite and very probable breeding in the Eastern and Western Rhodopes, Lomovete and Western Stara Planina.

Population estimation for the period 2013 – 2020: During the period 2013-2020, two localities of the Lesser Kestrel are known in the country. One colony, located in the Sakar Protected Area, is the result of a species restoration programme implemented by the Green Balkans including reintroduction of birds originating mainly from Spain. The other colony, known from the region of Burgas, is established naturally and has 3 – 5 breeding pairs.

Population size in Special Protection Areas of Natura 2000: 21-22 pairs (90% of the population) is found in “Sakar” Special Protection Area.

Big size map

Breeding distribution 2013 – 2020 – The distribution and the estimation of the population size of the species for the period 2013 – 2020 is presented –

Comparative distribution of the species compared to the first breeding birds atlas (Iankov, 2007): Breeding locality until 2007 | Breeding locality until 2007, confirmed after 2015 – | New breeding locality after 2015. – The breeding localities after 2015 are identified on a base of raw data from


At present breeds in towns, villages and industrial areas – on single buildings and other structures among agricultural areas and artificial landscapes. In the past, it was found on inland cliffs and exposed rocks.

Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020

Short-term trend of population size:


Long-term trend of population size:


Short-term trend of distribution:


Long-term trend of distribution:



Destruction and degradation of food habitats, reduction of food sources, damage to breeding habitats, unsecure power grid, predation by birds of prey or predatory mammals.

Dimitar Demerdzhiev, Stoycho Stoychev