Remarkable results in the Western Plains of Romania! The Saker Falcon numbers are increasing!

The nesting population of the Saker Falcon is growing in the Western Plain, as a result we managed to ring 45 chicks in 13 out of the 17 nests where sakers successfully bred in 2017.

This is very good news for the species, which experienced in Romania a long period of decline! In 2011 there was only one known breeding pair, but last year there were already 12!

Under the project “Ensuring the sources of food for the endangered populations of Danube and eagle of the Carpathian Basin” LIFE13 NAT/HU/000183, 13 partners from Romania and Hungary are acting on regional level for the conservation of the species. In the frame of the project, two juveniles were equipped with satellite transmitters in order to monitor their migration/dispersal routes. Young birds can cover large areas, from Spain to as far as Kazakhstan, but also use stopover sites in areas such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. The selection of these sites is seemingly done according to the existence of some favourable factors such as suitable feeding and nesting habitats.

Generally, falcons do not build their own nest, but use existing ones, built in previous years by other species, the Saker Falcon is no exception to the rule. Unfortunately, in the western part of Romania there are no solitary trees or small clusters of trees, these being the most suitable habitats for the nesting of several species of raptors or corvids. Unfortunately, changes in land-use have led to a decrease in potential habitats, which is why human intervention is necessary.

In order to ensure the successful reintroduction of the species, the Milvus Group along with electricity companies installed 80 artificial nests on high voltage poles in the Western Plain, most of them in Timiș and Arad counties.

Direct result of this intervention was the surprise of the summer – a pair of falcons breeding for the first time in Bihor county. At this artificial nest from Bihor county, as well as at other six similar nests from Arad and Timiș counties, photo trap cameras were installed in order to identify the prey assortment used by the sakers from Western Romania in the breeding period.

We invite you to watch a video … at a height among the Saker Falcons!

The photo trap was mounted in Bihor county with the technical support of Societatea de Distribuție a Energiei Electrice Transilvania Nord S.A. A big thank you for them!

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