Atlas of nesting birds in Bulgaria

Glossy Ibis

(Plegadis falcinellus)

Category of conservation concern (IUCN, 2020) – Least Concern

Population size: 2020: 35-302 pairs (2007: 50-150 pairs)

Distribution pattern

A rare breeding species with a small population. Breeds in mixed colonies with cormorants, herons and shovelers on the islands in the Danube and in different types of wetlands – lakes, marshes, fishponds and dams. With isolated breeding sites along the Danube River, the Upper Thracian Plain and the Burgas Wetlands. Regularly breeds only in Lake Srebarna and in the Protected Area Poda near Burgas.

Population estimation for the period 2013 – 2020: During the period 2013-2020, the species was not found in five squares, where it was found before the year 2013. Deterioration of the habitats in some places explains the disappearance of the species. New nests are registered in one square.

Population size in Special Protection Areas of Natura 2000: 35-300 pairs (100% of the population). The highest numbers are registered in the Special Protection Areas “Srebarna” (20-175 pairs), “Mandra-Poda Complex” (15-40 pairs) and “Kalimok Complex” (0-50 pairs).

Big size map

Breeding distribution 2013 – 2020 – The distribution and the estimation of the population size of the species for the period 2013 – 2020 is presented –

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


Breeds on water-fringe vegetation in bogs and marshes, in alluvial and riverine forests and brush.

Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020

Short-term trend of population size:


Long-term trend of population size:


Short-term trend of distribution:


Long-term trend of distribution:



Drainage of wetlands, loss of breeding habitats, changes in the water levels and in the hydrological regime of water bodies during the breeding season, disturbance, and poaching, unregulated forestry practices.

Svilen Chesmedjiev, Vladimir Mladenov