Atlas of nesting birds in Bulgaria

Water Rail

(Rallus aquaticus)

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

Population size: 1 000 – 1 800 pairs

Distribution pattern

Dispersed in the plains in the whole country depending on the presence of wetlands with water vegetation. More grouped along the Black Sea coast, along the Danube River and the other larger rivers, in the Thracian Plain and the Sofia Field, etc. Due to the peculiarities of its behaviour, which requires specific methods for identification and enumeration, its actual distribution may be wider than presented. Most significant breeding sites are located in the Dragoman Marsh, the former Straldzha Marsh and the Durankulak Lake. The distribution is stable, without considerable changes through the years.

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 in bogs and marshes and water fringe vegetation (usually standing fresh waters, but also in standing brackish waters). Often nests also in very small water bodies – overgrown with rushes or reeds,in canals (without concrete beds), marshy shallow parts of dams and other water bodies.

Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020

Not analysed


Not analysed