Photo: © Mihail Iliev

A few days ago, one of the Lesser Spotted Eagles tagged with transmitters, whose life we have been following with great interest, was observed and photographed near Dobrich. Iliya appeared in the summer of 2022 as the offspring of a pair with a territory near the village of Alexandria (Dobrich region). He was tagged in his nest just days before he fledged. Since then, we have been tracking his movements. Iliya is still immature and does not have his territory or partner. For Lesser Spotted Eagles, this usually happens in the fourth or fifth year of life.

In nearly two years, Iliya has visited 23 countries and flown tens of thousands of kilometers between Southeast Europe and his wintering grounds in the southern parts of Africa (Zambia). Last summer, he did not reach Bulgaria but spent the warm months in the Asian part of Turkey. For the first time, the eagle returned to Bulgaria at the beginning of May this year, heading towards his homeland in Dobruja. Mihail Iliev from the BSPB managed to locate the bird thanks to the data from the GPS transmitter placed on its back, as well as to get an idea of its condition and the nature of its preferred habitats. Just a few hours after the exciting encounter, Iliya continued his wandering and headed north. He is currently in Romania on one of the large islands on the Danube River near the city of Braila.

Снимка: © Михаил Илиев/БДЗП

Tagging eagles with GPS transmitters is part of the activities within the LIFE project “LIFE for Eagle’s habitats”.

You can follow the movements of Iliya and the other tagged Lesser Spotted Eagles HERE.