Guardians of the Neophron


© Emil Iordanov

As previous years we organized another campaign in 2019 devoted to the nest guarding during the fledgling period of the young birds in the Eastern Rhodopes. Our small squad of volunteers covered 7 nests with 10 juveniles in total in the stronghold of the species in the Balkans – Madzharovo area. A team of five devoted volunteers was able to insert into the life of 10 young birds and give their best to keep them safe during their first dramatic challenge in life – the fledgling, a big dive into the unknown. No accidents with any of the youngs were registered but still, some of them had some troubles in the process of learning how to fly as any child has troubles with its‘ first steps onto this earth.

The northernmost cluster in the Balkans was also guarded by our local collaborators who took care of another 5 nests with 6 juveniles that left the nests successfully too. A total of 12 nests with 16 juveniles (53% of all juveniles)  across Bulgaria were guarded and successfully left the nests in 2019.

More than 70 volunteers from Bulgaria and across the world have taken part in the nest guarding campaign since 2013, including volunteers from Canada, Romania, Lithuania, Germany, Belgium, France, and the United States.

We would like to express our gratitude to all of you who were part of our efforts to safe that emblematic species! For everybody else, the challenge is open each year in August!


The LIFE project "Egyptian Vulture New LIFE (LIFE16 NAT/BG/000874) brings together institutions and organizations from 14 countries spanning the Balkans, Middle East and Africa and is implemented with the financial support of the EU LIFE Programme. The Coordinating Beneficiary is the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds / BirdLife Bulgaria (BSPB). Associated Beneficiaries are:  Hellenic Ornithological Society / BirdLife Greece (HOS),  WWF Greece, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds / BirdLife UK (RSPB), Doğa Derneği / BirdLife Turkey (DD), regional offices of BirdLife International in Africa and Middle East, A.P. Leventis Ornithological and Research Institute (APLORI), CMS Raptors MoU, Green Balkans.