To build a nest for an Imperial Eagle - or how to create a new home for the majestic birds?

Apr. 23, 2024
To build a nest for an Imperial eagle - or how to create a new home for the majestic birds?
People often ask “How do you make the birds' nests? How do you know where to put them?! Why do you do it, does it have an effect….?”. Of course, the answers to all these questions cannot be given in one sentence, but we can briefly talk about one of our latest initiatives for building and installing of artificial nests of the Imperial eagle in the border mountain of Sakar, and more about how things actually happen - you can see in the video below.
At the end of March, a joint team of Green Balkans, Foundation “Black Vulture Nest”, “Tonido91”, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna, and Society "Sakar Nature Park" installed 3 artificial nests for Imperial eagles. The locations for the nests are selected in advance, through careful assessment of the species' habitats, presence of territorial pairs, and after discussions with the colleagues from Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, who also work for the protection of the Imperial eagle in Bulgaria. Our partners from “Black Vulture Nest” and “Tonido91” have extensive experience in the construction and installation of artificial nests for large birds of prey, and especially Black vultures. That of course is essential for the successful implementation of the activity. The methodology we used was borrowed from the Green Balkans projects “Bright Future for the Black vulture”, LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 and “Bearded vulture LIFE” (№101113869 LIFE22-NAT-BG-Bearded Vulture LIFE).
The placing of the nests for the Imperial eagle is part of the BESTbelt project activities, implemented with the financial support of the European Union, which is implemented by Green Balkans in partnership with the Turkish organization “Back to Nature” and the German EuroNatur Foundation. The project is aimed at conservation, supporting and researching rare and protected bird species – the Lesser kestrel and the Imperial eagle in the border regions of Bulgaria and Turkey. The key habitats for both species are concentrated in border areas, falling within the range of the former “Iron Curtain” and today united in the international initiative European Green Belt.
The installation of the artificial nests for the Imperial eagles was implemented for the first time in Bulgaria by Green Balkans, more than 20 years ago, and the successful breeding of the rare eagles in a nest, placed by the nature conservation organization, was first registered more than ten years ago. This is a very successful environmental approach to help not only the Imperial eagle, but also to a number of other species of birds of prey. For comparison, from just over 40 nesting pairs of Imperial eagles in our country, about 15 of them use artificial nests placed especially for this purpose by Green Balkans and BSPB.