Photo: Mihail Iliev

Two years after coming into the world, the Lesser Spotted eagle Ilia has returned to its homeland. Early this morning, the little traveler crossed the Bulgarian-Turkish border and is now near Burgas.

The young eagle hatched in 2022 in a nest near the village of Alexandria in Dobrich. We expected it to return to us last spring, but the bird remained in the territory of our southern neighbor, and in the fall, it flew to Africa from there. But today, after crossing the borders of 14 countries, Ilia is back in Bulgaria. We are yet to find out whether it will nest near its native place or choose a new one, and ornithologists from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), who work on the LIFE for Eagle’s Habitats project, will answer this question in the coming days. Thanks to this project, Ilia received a transmitter, and for two years, we have been monitoring its migration to Africa and back.

Today’s day is also connected with another event related to the project. With a lesson in the first grade of the 3rd Primary School “Dimitar Blagoev,” a new lesson about the Lesser Spotted eagle was launched, developed by experts from the BSPB and the Northeastern State Comapny – Shumen. 250 children from the school in Shumen will have the chance to learn with forest educators and through interesting games understand what this species eats, what its coloration is, and how it raises its young. All students will also receive an interesting poster with many tasks so that they do not forget what they have learned in class.