The story of the Saker Falcon nest

In the beginning of 2011 a few members of Milvus Group with the help of Hungarian partners, searched for Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) nests in Dobrogea and in the Western Plain of Romania. Unfortunately they didn’t find any nesting pairs, not even in places where breeding of Sakers had been known in the past years.

At that time practically no Saker nests were known in Romania, which indicated the bad status of the breeding population in our country. Using the information from the previous Hungarian-Slovakian project, coming from satellite transmitter tagged birds, as well as taking into consideration all the information collected by birdwatchers throughout the recent years about the presence of the species in Romania, on the 21st of April 2011 a team of the Hungarian partners found a Saker pair breeding on a high voltage pylon on the Torontal Plain.

Regular observations started this way, with the aim of gathering information about the breeding biology of Sakers, data which will be quite useful in applying adequate conservation measures for the species in our country.

The end of May represented a difficult period in this Saker pair’s life: the female disappeared for unknown reasons. Although the chicks had grown a lot, they were too young and by losing a parent their life were in danger. For the male bird a difficult period with lots of risks was coming. In the next weeks the adult, experienced male proved to be a very good hunter. He managed to collect enough food and to take care of his chicks all by himself.

On the 14th of June 2011, in collaboration with the Hungarian partner and with the help of Enel Romania Electricity Company, members of Milvus Group took part on a very important action, which was a premier for our country. For the first time in Romania a Saker Falcons was tagged with satellite transmitter. This equipment with GPS and solar batteries is very important because it allows us to track the bird`s movement and gives us information about the places frequented by Sakers, the dangers they are exposed to, as well as other useful data for implementing several conservation measures. The tagged bird is a female, named Maia. At the age of 42-44 days Maia was the first chick to fledge from the nest, and after several weeks she left the nest zone and became independent, searching for food alone. With the help of the satellite transmitter we could follow her route through Hungary, Serbia and Croatia. At the moment she is in the northern part of Serbia, in Vojvodina, where she spent the last three months. For further information please access this link.

Here you can find out why Maia prefers Vojvodina and you can follow her movements accessing this map.

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