Category of conservation concern (IUCN, 2020) – Near threatened
Population size: 0 – 2 pairs
Regular presence during the breeding season in the Eastern Rhodopes of birds from the colony in Greece. Apart from the permanent presence of individual specimens and pairs in the area around the Studen Kladenets Dam and between the valley of the Arda River and the border with Greece, single birds can be seen as far as Sakar, Eastern Stara Planina, Rila, Pirin, Vitosha and the Western Border Mountains.
For several years now, the species has been reintroduced in Stara Planina, where the first nest was registered in 2021.
Comparative distribution of the species compared to the first breeding birds atlas (Iankov, 2007): Breeding locality until 2007 | Breeding locality until 2007, confirmed after 2015 – | New breeding locality after 2015. – The breeding localities after 2015 are identified on a base of raw data from smartbirds.org.
Mainly in broad-leaved deciduous forests (old oak forests of Quercus sp.), rarely in temperate coniferous forests (Pinus nigra and Pinus sylvestris). The nest, found in 1993, was on a rock in a deciduous forest. Crucial for the species in the Eastern Rhodopes is the existence of grazing livestock, breeding Canis lupus and unfrequented forest areas.
Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020