Here is the first one! KZ the Lesser Kestrel has returned to the species colony in the middle of winter!

Feb. 03, 2023
Every year, as spring approaches, the Green Balkans team looks forward to the return of the first Lesser kestrels to the nesting sites created by environmentalists - the surroundings of the Sakar village of Levka and the Rescue Center in Stara Zagora.

Although in previous years the birds returned from migration well before the start of spring, in February this year the female bird, whose marking ring coded KZ, was observed in the Levka colony, well before the earliest recorded so far.

Even before the end of January this year, the "Life for Lesser Kestrel" LIFE19 NAT/BG/001017 project team, implemented by Green Balkans with the support of the LIFE Program of the European Union, with great excitement observed the first Lesser kestrel of the year on the territory of Bulgaria. Immediately after its registration, as hospitable hosts, we, from Green Balkans, provided artificial nutrition to support the rare bird in the cold winter days. The falcon, for its part, willingly took advantage of the food provided, and sought refuge in its well-known roofs and artificial nests, where the bird had successfully bred for the previous two years and reared its young.
While in previous years the appearance of the first bird in the area of the colony was reported as a return from migration, now it can be claimed, not without reason, that this is the first proven wintering of the species in Bulgaria.

According to literature data and sources, Lesser kestrels are long-distance migrants and winter in Africa, and only in isolated places in Europe and some Mediterranean islands was the species observed in winter. So far, the species wasn't found to winter in our country. And whether its early appearance is a result of global climate warming, or whether it is dictated by the cares of the Green Balkans, which lead to a stronger attachment of birds to breeding sites, remains an open question for the moment...