Photos: Yordanka Lukanova

On April 13, a team of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) installed a trail camera in a nest of a Lesser Spotted Eagle near the village of Alexandria in the Protected zone “Suha Reka”.

In the area, the team observed one bird of the pair, which returned after the long migration to its breeding habitat. This is the same nest in which the eagle Ilia hatched last spring, on which we placed a satellite transmitter.

In 2023, trail cameras were also installed in more three nests of the species in protected areas “Sakar” and “Derventski Vazvishenia”. Another trail camera is to be installed, bringing the total number to five.

Trail camera surveys are a non-invasive way to monitor wildlife populations. Although most commonly used to study medium and large mammal species, these devices can provide useful ecological information for some poorly studied bird species as well. The trail cameras are equipped with motion sensors and capture the birds in front of them without disturbing them. They are placed at a sufficient distance (usually 1.5 – 3 m) from the nest.

The purpose of the trail cameras is to collect important information about the behavior and biology of the species, as well as the presence of threats. The collected data will be used to determine the feeding habits of the birds, their nesting behavior related to the rearing of the chicks, as well as the presence of different types of enemies.

The activity is implemented within the project “Lafe for Eagles’ Habitats”, funded by the EU LIFE programme.