We are in the oldest continuously inhabited city on Earth, Matera in Basilicata in the south of Italy. It’s possible to walk from the Palaeolithic inhabitation of the stone slopes of a rocky ravine to the heart of a modern bustling city.
We’ve come to see the Lesser Kestrels, which migrate here to nest colonially under the roofs. This couple are greeting us with the promise of generations of Lesser Kestrels to come.
Here’s the female, with her nest in a meter box, high on a wall:
And here’s the male:
The Italian name of the Lesser Kestrel is il Grillaio, because they eat Grilli, or Crickets.
They call like parrots as they fly overhead and they eat insects on the wing which they have caught while on the ground. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by them again and I’m looking forward to bringing you my adventures with them and the other wildlife of Matera.