The lesser kestrels in the Alps: the exceptional recovery of a lesser kestrel with GPS in the mountains between Piedmont and Liguria

On September 1st, the park rangers of the Protected Areas of the Piedmont Apennines were contacted by the CNR to recover a lesser kestrel object of study in the LIFE FALKON project and equipped with a GPS device,  who was giving anomalous signals within the area of Monte Ebro and Monte Chiappo (Piedmont, area of the ‘Four Provinces’).

Unfortunately, the bird was found dead, most likely a victim of predation by the larger Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). This bird was one of the young chicks transferred  from Matera to the tower of Baricella (Bologna) built by the LIFE FALKON project. Read the news on the  website of the Protected Areas at this link here

This finding is very interesting since it informs us that, after leaving their nests and before migrating to Africa, the lesser kestrels move towards the mountains looking for fresh areas and insects, through which sustain the enormous energy effort of the migration that awaits them.

In the same days, other lesser kestrels equipped with GPS deployed  by LIFE FALKON were visiting mountain areas, some of which in  South Tyrol and Switzerland. It demonstrates that moving towards high altitudes  in late summer is not an isolated behavior, but a common pattern of lesser kestrels, which only frequent the lowlands  during the breeding period. 

The LIFE FALKON project continues to follow the movements of its beloved chicks, from the Alps to Africa.

3 September 2021

Beneficiary coordinator


With the contribution of