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The Lesser kestrel colony at the Rescue Center has a record number of birds this year

Apr. 18, 2024
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 This year, 44 birds were registered in the colony of Lesser kestrels in Stara Zagora.

Yordanka Vasileva, in charge of the reproduction program at the Resque Center under the project "Life for the Lesser Kestrel" LIFE19 NAT/BG/001017, financed by the LIFE program of the EU, commented: "There are 44... at least that many have been observed so far. This is the highest population of the colony to date, since its establishment in 2017."

 The statistics over the years are as follows: 2018 – 9 birds, 2019 – 24, with no successful nesting in the first two years. During 2020 15 Lesser kestrels returned from migration. Then was also the first successful nesting of a pair, 2021 - 9 birds and 3 pairs, 2022 - 14 birds and 4 pairs and the past 2023 - 30 birds and 9 pairs!

"There is curious information, Yordanka Vasileva continues her story, about a male bird, hatched and released at the Rescue Center in 2018, which I call Pirate because he has one leg since 2020. For three years in a row, the bird successfully bred in the colony here. There is no other bird older than 3 years that has been registered so far. This year Pirate is back again and we can't wait to see what happens with him."

The birds from the colony around the Rescue Center have a choice of over 50 artificial nests placed by the Green Balkans team.

Unfortunately, they also have competition from magpies, jackdaws and Little owls. But, fortunately, the colony is large enough to be able to defend itself with joint efforts.

We remind that in Bulgaria there are for now a total of three colonies of Lesser kestrels. As, apart from Stara Zagora, you can see birds of this rare species in the Sakar village of Levka and near Burgas.