Thanks to the satellite telemetry we can live track the flight of three juvenile Lesser Spotted Eagles. A map on the website visualizes the movements of Kubrat, Tervel and Boyana – Lesser Spotted Eagles tagged with GPS transmitters. Satellite telemetry allows us to see the migration route of the birds and to observe their location at any moment of time thus making assumptions about their status.

At the moment, during its first autumn migration, the Lesser Spotted Eagle Kubrat, hatched in the protected area “Dervent vazvishenia” of the Natura 2000 network in Bulgaria, has reached Zambia, Africa. This is the bird that had biggest troubles on its way. Only a week after leaving our country Kubrat managed to fly to Lebanon. And it was here that the transmitter placed on his back began broadcasting a signal from just one point. For the team working to protect the species, this was very disturbing. The coast of Lebanon is the only hilly area in the country and is well known to the experts as the place where raptors are traditionally shot for food. Fortunately, more than 12 hours after the transmitter signal came from just one point, the bird continued its flight. Today, Kubrat has flown thousands of kilometres to one of Africa’s southernmost points.

Tervel, the second Lesser Spotted Eagle whose migration we’ve been following, is in Tanzania. The only female bird we put a GPS transmitter on in July, turned out to be the most distant migrant of the three Lesser Spotted Eagles we track. Today, Boyana is in Zimbabwe.

Lesser Spotted Eagles are long-distance migrants. Until now, the birds were known to fly nearly 10,000 km from northern Europe to reach their wintering grounds. It is hoped that by tracking the eagles using satellite telemetry, we will obtain more detailed information about their migration route, their preferred resting places and causes of mortality during their long migration journey.

The study, using satellite telemetry, is being carried out under the EU LIFE project “Life for Eagles’ Habitats” by the Executive Forest Agency in partnership with the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, Southeast and Northeast State Companies.