New nest boxes for Saker Falcon in North-Eastern Bulgaria

Five of the planned 10 aluminum nest boxes were mounted in the end of May 2012 as part of the conservation activities of the LIFE+ project “Conservation of Falco Cherrug in NE Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia”. The nest boxes are set on places especially chosen on the basis of different criteria, such as previous Saker observations, good food resources, minimum of threats, less visitors, etc. They are made of aluminum and are of the “Hungarian” type, which has proved to be very successful in the Carpathian basin, where thanks to the conservation efforts of our colleagues the species population continues to expand. 

The nest boxes were mounted in spite of the long spell of bad weather. The team was additionally hampered by the necessity not to damage the crops in the surrounding fields, so they had to carry the nest boxes and the equipment hundreds of meters from the cars to the pylons. The mounting was done with the support of Energy System Operator Ltd. and the management of Network Exploitation Region – Varna, as well as the local managers and officers of the company, engineers Dobromir Doychev, Ivan Velikov and Dimiter Chernev.

60% of such next boxes, mounted within other projects in different places in the country have been occupied by Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) pairs, which successfully raise their young. This is a sign of suitable conditions (especially sufficient food and lack of risk factors) and we hope that they will soon attract the Saker to start breeding in NE Bulgaria again. In the last few years we have three records of Sakers close to similar aluminum next boxes, one of them in the project region.

The five nest boxes are mounted on a power transmission line of the 400 kV network as a non-compromising solution against possible violations. The remaining 5 boxes will be mounted on another similar power line.

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