Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) was observed in the vicinity of an artificial nest box in North-Eastern Bulgaria
On 5th March 2012 a field team of BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria recorded a Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) in the vicinity of an aluminum nest box of the ‘Hungarian’ model, proved as the most successful type, installed in 2010. The bird was observed flying and perching on the ground, hunting in different parts of the area around the nest box. The falcon had a full throat, indicating a recent successful attack. Flocks of different birds which could be its potential prey, were observed in the area. „One of the numerous criteria, which BSPB applies to select a site for installing an artificial nest box is the abundance of food. Obviously the site in question has been properly selected”, said Dr. Petar Iankov, one of the experts of the international Life+ Project “Conservation of the Saker Falcon in North-Eastern Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia” (LIFE09NAT-HU-000384).
This observation of Saker Falcon close to an artificial nest box is the second one for Northern Bulgaria and the first for the Project region, after BSPB started the installation of nest boxes for this species in 2008. This is a success also for the Electricity System Operator (ESO) – the national company responsible for the maintenance of the high voltage network of Bulgaria. The support and partnership of this company is of key importance for saving the Saker Falcon. Installing artificial nest boxes on high voltage pylons was imposed by a serious threat – nest robbing, which is the main factor, which led the Saker Falcon at the end of the 20th Century to the verge of its extinction from the Bulgarian fauna. The artificial nest boxes are also a basic element of the BSPB strategy of supporting the natural restoration of the Saker population in Bulgaria.