First results of the study on the attitude of pigeon fanciers towards birds of prey

Mar 01, 2023
In 2022 in the frame of “LIFEforFalcons” project BSPB started a research aiming to study the conflict between pigeon fanciers and birds of prey and to identify good practices for reducing the impact of raptor attacks on homing pigeons. BSPB signed MoUs with 4 pigeon fancier’s clubs in the country. With their support we tested methods for reduction of raptor attacks and investigated other possible causes of pigeon mortality. We provided 60 “repellent” sprays to pigeon keepers to test their effectiveness. We equipped 26 pigeons with GPS rings during 7 races, this way main flight corridors were determined. The gathered information was used to identify areas with high risk of collision with powerlines or buildings and hotspots of raptor attacks along the route of the pigeon races. 

Using an online questionnaire, we gathered information from the pigeon fancierson the causes of pigeon mortality all over the country. In 2023 we will collect more responses and the results will be used to develop guideline with good practices for minimizing pigeon loses caused by raptors. 

This study will continue in 2023. The results of the study from 2022 are summarized in a technical report available here.

Persecution or extermination of raptors is strictly forbidden by the national legislation in Bulgaria! One of the main reasons for the unfavorable conservation status of raptors among which is the Saker falcon is illegal killing. Raptors are irreplaceable part of the ecosystems and their extermination harms significantly the natural processes in nature.