For the first time since there were installed more than 40 artificial nest boxes in Western Romania, in 2012, one has been occupied by a pair of Saker Falcons. For the moment, the two falcons have just been visiting the nest and testing out the territory, but we expect them to settle and lay eggs there in the upcoming weeks. We will be keeping a close eye on them during this time. The nests are made of aluminium and installed on electric pylons over arable land.
Although we had hoped that some falcons might nest in the boxes in the previous two years, experience from a similar project in Hungary informed us that it as unlikely as Saker Falcons are cautious creatures and tend to stick first to nests they know. As such, it was not surprising to find this pair of Saker Falcons occupying the same Ravens nest both in 2012 and 2013, even though that nest was in very poor condition. Unfortunately, because of a hole in the bottom of that nest, the falcon’s eggs fell out of the nest in 2012, where we found them smashed on the ground. The artificial nest should insure against this problem and support successful breeding of the pair.
There are just four pairs of Saker Falcons in Western Romania, and 5 or 6 known pairs in the whole country. Successful breeding is vital to the recovery of the population.