The Glossy ibis arrived in the Poda Protected Area


© Vladimir Deryabin

One of the most beautiful birds, inhabitants of the Poda Protected Area near Burgas, has returned from Africa. The Glossy ibis, a relative of the African sacred ibis, derives its name from feathers that shine in different colors against the angle of light. Upon its arrival, the breeding colony of a huge variety of birds in the area filled its composition.

The protected area shelters the only colony of Glossy ibis on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast and is managed by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB). The nature center named after her, Poda, welcomes guests from all over the world every year. Although the center is currently closed to visitors because of the state of emergency in the country until mid-May, anyone can watch live from their home the unique nature of the area and its feathered inhabitants through an online camera.

At just over 1 square kilometer, as large as Poda's territory, 309 bird species have been identified so far, which is ¼ of all bird species in Europe! In addition to the Glossy ibis, Purple, Gray heron, Little egret, Great egret, Cattle egret,  Pygmy cormorant,  Eurasian bittern and more.

The Center was established in July 1997 by BSPB with the assistance of the Swiss Confederation and the SVS/BirdLife Switzerland within the Bulgarian – Swiss Biodiversity Conservation Programme and is the first nature conservation center in Bulgaria. Every year it welcomes over 7000 visitors from Bulgaria and abroad and is included in the list of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria Each guest can use binoculars and a spotting scope to observe rare and endangered birds from the center terrace and learn interesting facts about them. There is also special photographic hide. For young visitors, there is an interactive exhibition presenting the wildlife of Poda in an interesting way.

The Nature Conservation Center “Poda”  is open to visitors year-round from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (April-September) and from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (October-March), for information please call 0878 252 722. Until the end of the state of emergency on 13 May, the center is closed to visitors.