In November team of experts from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and Green Balkans installed 15 artificial nests for Saker Falcons in Southern Bulgaria. They will support the improvement of the nesting grounds of the species in the country. The aim of this activity is to ensure safe and useful places for breeding, which will encourage the young birds from the Green Balkans program for the restoration of the species or hatched in the nature to stay and start breeding in the region.
Within the Life for falcons’ project, it is planned the installment of 60 artificial nests on the poles of the high voltage power system. They are installed in the previously researched areas in Bulgaria, where the food base for the saker, such as voles, sousliks and other preferred by the species prey, is preserved. At the same time they are away from the settlements in order to ensure the lack of human interruptions of the nesting birds and of attacks on the pigeons which leads to conflicts with pigeon-fanciers. Installing of the artificial platforms on suitable places is a best practice proven in time in different countries. In Hungary and Romania over 80% of the population of the Saker Falcons is breeding in such nests. In Bulgaria this method has been successfully applied in helping of another globally threatened species – the Eastern Imperial eagle.
This activity is part of the long-term partnership of BSPB with the Electricity System Operator (ESO), with which we have signed a general agreement on protection of the birds, related to the powerlines and the power grid.
In the past Saker falcon has nested mainly on trees and rocks, using the nests of other birdsspecies. In the last decades however in many areas of the country its habitats havе been significantly changes and the number of the single old trees in the midst of agricultural territories has decreased, this leading to the decreasing of the nesting areas for many birds. The artificial nests will stay on its places for decades and they will provide a suitable condition for safe breeding for the Saker falcon and other species.
BSPB and Green Balkans thank to the teams of NOD Haskovo and NOD Stara Zagora for the support in carrying out the activities.
Photos: Yana Andonova/Green Balkans