At the end of May, the supplementary feeding of five breeding pairs of Imperial eagles in Southeastern Bulgaria started.
The activity is in the implementation of a measure from the Action Plan for the Conservation of the Imperial eagle: 2.3.2. Artificial feeding of Imperial eagles in winter and is part of the project “Implementation of measures from the Action Plan for the Conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in the Republic of Bulgaria” (BG16M1OP002-3.027-0005).
The aim of the measure is to increase the breeding success of the species. The main problem is the low breeding success of some pairs, and the average breeding success of the fed pairs is expected to increase from 1.5 hatchlings per year to two hatchlings per year.
Feeding during the breeding period aims to increase the breeding success of the pairs. Some of the Imperial eagle pairs have lower breeding success due to the insufficient food base in the territory of the pair. As a result, the second juvenile usually falls victim to aggression in the hatchery (Cainism) or dies of starvation. Supplementary feeding also minimizes the risk of poisoning adult eagles visiting landfills or places where dead animals are dumped.
The supplementary feeding is carried out during the breeding season of the eagles – from the beginning of incubation to the moment of leaving the nest by young birds. Selected pairs are fed once every five days.