The final results of the study of the feeding behavior of the Lesser Spotted Eagle, which was carried out in the period 2019-2022, are ready. It was carried out by installing trail cameras in eight nests of the species in protected areas “Zapadna Strandzha”, “Sakar”, ” Emine” and “Suha reka”.
A total of 141,985 photos were taken. The results of the study show that the delivery of food for the hatchling is mainly done by the male bird. As the juvenile grows, the need for food increases, and the female becomes more and more actively involved in procuring it. During the eighth week of the young bird’s development, a large increase in the average daily food supply is recorded.
Small mammals such as voles and lizards are among the most common victims. They make up 2/3 of the Lesser Spotted Eagle ‘s diet. The species’ menu also includes various types of small vertebrates.
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 in the last days of March, before the arrival of the birds. The analysis from the trail cameras has revealed interesting information about the parental tasks during the incubation period – incubation, food provision, and nest repair.
The activity is implemented within the framework of the LIFE project “LIFE for Eagle’s habitats”.