© Mihail Iliev

In July, we reported an observation of two juveniles in a nest of a Lesser spotted eagle in the Natura 2000 protected area “Batova” in northeastern Bulgaria. In September, both juveniles successfully fledged from the nest. This marks the first documented case in Bulgaria of a Lesser spotted eagle nest with two successfully raised young.

The successful raising of two juveniles is an extremely rare occurrence for this species – usually, the pair raises only one. The two young birds were observed during regular monitoring of Lesser spotted eagle nests conducted as part of the LIFE project ” LIFE for Eagle’s habitats.”

Scientific research in Central and Northern Europe shows that only 1.5-3.5% of nesting attempts by the species result in two successfully fledged juveniles. In fact, two offspring are not uncommonly hatched, but usually, the smaller one dies within 10-15 days after hatching.

The monitoring activities of the species are carried out within the framework of the LIFE project “LIFE for Eagle’s habitats,” which is the long-term preservation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle population by securing the protection and sustainable management of the species’ nesting and foraging habitats, as well as the creation of new ones. The project partners are the Executive Forest Agency, Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, SouthEastern State Company – Sliven, and NorthEastern State Comapny – Shumen.