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A Redbreast called Brent ended its life in Kazakhstan

The story of this Redbreast started in February 2014 when the BSPB field team of the “Safe Ground for Redbreasts” saved the bird from a private home from NE Bulgaria in Kavarna. The bird was with cut off flight feathers so it was transported into the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre managed by Green Balkans in the town of Stara Zagora. The bird stayed there for a year and had its feathers back in proper state to be released.

The bird has been released in February 2015 by Green Balkans in the area of Durankulak Lake and was fitted with satellite GPS transmitter and its movements were closely monitored by the colleagues. The bird first staged for several weeks in Romania, but then hit the road back to the North and flew 2000 km for a day to reach Kalmykia (Russia) in the second half of February 2015 and stayed close to the border with Kazakhstan.

Miraculously the Redbreast survived its stay there were couple of tagged birds lost their lives in 2014 during the spring hunting season in Kalmykia.

In mid of May the bid was already in Kazakhstan, but towards the end of the month the signals caused concerns to the Green Balkans staff who followed the fate of the bird. The signals were coming from one and the same village in Kazakhstan and some of those were form a house in the village. All this clearly indicated a problem with the bird fate.

The colleagues from Green Balkans contacted the AEWA Red-breasted Goose IWG to help to find the bird and its whereabouts in Northern Kazakhstan. The colleagues from the Association for Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan (ACBK) contacted local expert (Dr. Vilkov) who finally brought the disappointing news – the bird was dead. According to the local warden the bird hit the electric wires and died. The local warden found the bird and carried the tag in its car for several days.

Collision with electric wires has been documented in the species before. There were couple of cases of injured juveniles from Burgas lake complex in Bulgaria and one bird collided with the electric wires in Durankulak in 2013. Some info exist on previous cases from Bulgaria as well. This indicates that there is problem with collision with electric poles, but the magnitude of the problem is unclear.

Thus this Redbreast called Brent after being saved after being illegally hold in a backyard and rehabilitating for a year, then travelled over 3500 km to N Kazakhstan eventually ended its life when it collided with the electric wires.

Sincere thanks to Dr. Sklyarenko from ACBK who helped in the process of clarifying the fate of the bird in Kazakhstan and retriveing the transmitter.

Read more about the life story of Brent here

The tagged Redbreast - © Green Balkans
Brent at its release - © Green Balkans
Fixing the tag on Brent - © Green Balkans