After the busy breeding season of the Lesser kestrels at the Rescue Center of Green Balkans, the reckoning has come.
And it shows excellent work done by the "Life for Lesser kestrel" LIFE19 NAT/BG/001017 project team, funded by the LIFE program of the EU.
Here's what Yordanka Vasileva from the Center, breeding coordinator for the project, shared with us: "In 2022, the breeding program has 52 hatchlings from 13 successful pairs. Unfortunately, 2 of the newly hatched disappeared from the nests at an early age. The remaining 50 we were able to raise"
In the Center's aviaries and incubators, in addition to the little ones that hatch with us, we also accept birds from different places. Here is what Yordanka says about them:
"During this season, Sofia Zoo donated 9 chicks to the project. They are a generation of pairs given to them by us some time ago. Separately, for various reasons, we received 8 chicks from the colony of the species in Levka, which we raised here."
For a second year in a row, our team is happy with the successful return of the species to Stara Zagora. This is what Yordanka shared about the results there: "Around the breeding cage in Stara Zagora, in our wild colony, this year there were 4 pairs with a total of 17 hatchlings. In addition to raising their offspring, they are also very successful foster parents. This year, for example, I put one hatched in an incubator the night before into a wild nest. It was very well accepted by the couple."
"Another interesting thing about the wild birds - around the middle of July, at the time when the chicks were flying from our wild nests, a one-year-old male, released from the Center last year, appeared. Later, two more males and one female, also released by us last year, came around for about 5-6 days. There may have been others - the CCTV footage is plentiful. Interestingly, their appearance coincides with the nesting period and the departure of our adults. That is, there is a possibility that they nested somewhere around...", Yordanka also told.
So, for this breeding season, we have ringed, in total, 84 young birds. We include the wild little ones here. The wild chicks flew out of their nests, some of the rest we released in the colony in the village of Levka, others in the adaptation aviary of the Rescue Center of Green Balkans, and we left a very small part to replenish the breeding flock of the pairs in the Center.
We wish the featheres little ones a fair wind and good luck on the long journey of migration!