The monitoring of the Saker falcon in Bulgaria is underway

Mar 02, 2023
Photo: Anton Stamenov

Experts from BSPB and Green Balkans are continuing the monitoring of the Saker falcon’s population in Bulgaria. The team is revising not only the known locations of the species but also potential new territories and historical sites. The aim of this activity is to determine the number of occupied breeding territories and their breeding status. Other raptor species are also recorded e.g. Imperial eagles, Peregrine falcons, Long-legged buzzards and Golden eagles. 

Nest boxes installed for the species in previous years are also inspected. The experts also select new sites in suitable habitats for installation of more nest boxes for falcons. The Saker falcons do not built their own nests but occupy nests of other bird species. Due to the habitat degradation and the destruction of tree lines in some areas the breeding habitat is no sufficient which leads to increased interspecific competition and consequently reduced breeding success. 

In February during the field activities we recorded relatively early activity of the Souslik colonies. At many locations the Sousliks were out of their holes in search of food probably due to the abnormally warm weather. The Souslik is a very important species in the trophic chains as it is a main source of food for threatened raptor species as the Imperial eagle and the Saker falcon. 

Photo: Ivaylo Klisurov

Photo: Volen Arkumarev

Photo: Volen Arkumarev

The activities for the conservation of the Saker Falcon are carried out within the framework of the project "Life for Falcons" (LIFE20 NAT/BG/1162), which unites the efforts of 7 organizations from Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, and the Netherlands. The project is financed under the LIFE programme of the European Commission.