Saker Falcon one of the contenders for Bird of the Year in Romania

Nov. 20, 2023
Bird of the year
Since 2018, at the end of each year, Romanian Ornithological Society calls all bird and nature lovers to vote for the Bird of the Year. In the election campaign are included common species, known to the public or not, but also rarer ones. All have a story to tell.

The contenders seeking to charm the public and win the Bird of the 2024 title are Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug), Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis), and Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus). The winning species will be featured on the 2024 membership card.

This year contenders were not randomly chosen. All three are included on national and international Red Lists, and due to their vulnerability status are the focus of the SOR activities for more than 20 years. The winner of the title will be the subject of a campaign aiming to raise awareness on the threats the species is facing, but also on the conservation measures necessary to ensure its survival. 

Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) is an Endangered species on the Romanian Red List as well, for which Romanian Ornithological Society and its partners in the “Securing the recovery of the endangered Saker Falcon in Bulgaria and Southern Romania” LIFE project strive to ensure the appropriate conservation measures.

Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis) is a Vulnerable species because of habitat destruction and excessive exploitation on the migration routes. The most recent conservation project for the species aimed at completely covering the migration route and simultaneously addressing the conservation issues in five countries (Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria), where the International Species Action Plan will be implemented.

Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is also a Vulnerable species, the main causes for its decline being the loss of habitat, disturbance, and electrical wire collisions. Pelican Way of LIFE is the third project for the conservation of the species implemented in Romania by the SOR. It includes activities to reduce the threats and improve the habitat of the species in 27 sites from Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Ukraine.

The election campaign started on 15th of November 2023 and the voting system is quite simple. Starting with the first day of the campaign, for 4 weeks you can vote your favourite contender. Access the Romanian Ornithological Society Facebook page, go to the Bird of the Year photo album (Pasărea Anului 2024) and cast your vote: each reaction on a photo means a vote for the candidate. On 8th of December, at the end of the day the ballot is counted. The winner is announced on the 15th of December.