Category of conservation concern (IUCN, 2020) – Least Concern
Population size: 30 000 – 50 000 pairs
With patchy distribution mainly in the higher parts of the mountains Rila, Pirin, Western Rhodopes, Western and Central Stara Planina, Vitosha, Osogovo Mountains, Slavyanka, Belasitsa, and Sredna Gora. With dispersed or isolated breeding sites in Strandzha, the Fore Balkan, Rui, Kraishte, Ograzhden, etc.
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.
Breeds mainly in alpine, subalpine and boreal bushes, mainly communities of Pinus mugo and high mountain juniper shrubs Juniperus sp. (related to shrubs in temperate climates), often-in combination with stony terrains and screes. Part of the population inhabits the ecotone zone, breeding mainly in coniferous forests, in particular in forests of Picea abies, Pinus peuce, P. heldreichii, and less frequently of P. sylvestris and P. nigra. Near the tree line breeds also in clearings and around meadows. It is also found in mixed forests close to the intermediate zone with the coniferous belt and less often in broad-leaved deciduous forests, but in the highest possible altitude in the mountains.
Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020