Atlas of nesting birds in Bulgaria

Western Marsh Harrier

(Circus aeruginosus)

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

Population size: 220 – 240 pairs

Distribution pattern

With patchy and dispersed distribution in the lower parts in most of the country, more concentrated in the central part of the Thracian Plain, the Tundzha River Valley, the Burgas lowlands, in places along the Black Sea and Danube coasts and the adjacent areas, and in the Sofia Field. Some isolated sites can be found elsewhere in the country.

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, in water fringe vegetation, in fens, transition mires and springs, but during the last years has also been observed in crops and (annual) grass species. Found to breed in natural wetlands along the seacoast, along riverbanks and inland natural wetlands, as well as around artificial water bodies, such as fishponds, micro dams and dams. Builds its nests mainly in reed beds.

Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020

Not analysed


Not analysed