Fieldwork in Dobrudja – survey for Saker falcons

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Photo: Luca Dehelean
In March, a few ornithologists from the Milvus Group working on the “Conservation of Falco cherrug in Northeast Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia” LIFE+ project have started the fieldwork in Dobrudja. As a first step they verified the presence of the target species in the Măcin Mountains, where Saker falcons used to breed. Although there are several suitable breeding places, due to unknown reasons yet, unfortunately the birds were missing.The status of the three nests known as being used traditionally by Sakers, was as following: one nest was found empty, the second nest was occupied by a pair of Long-legged buzzards (Buteo rufinus), and the third nest was partially fallen down from the rock slope, so it was not suitable for Sakers to breed.

Photo: Luca Dehelean
As a second step, due to the unfavorable weather conditions the specialists have met in the Măcin Mountains, a few other places were surveyed for Saker falcons in Dobrudja. Some of these territories were selected with the help of the Hungarian colleagues, who shared with us specific locations where Sakers tagged with satellite transmitters were detected in the previous years. Other places were checked because Saker falcons were observed there earlier. Unfortunately no Saker falcons were found this time. We will continue during springtime our search in the Măcin Mountains, Dobrudja and the western part of Romania as well.

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