Bird species

Lake Vaya is essential for bird feeding and rest along the Via Pontica migration route.

Loco2014, Pellikan, CC BY-SA 3.0

Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

The Great White Pelican is a huge bird, with only the Dalmatian pelican averaging larger amongst the pelicans. The wingspan can range from 226 to 360 cm, with the latter measurement the largest recorded among extant flying animals outside of the great albatrosses. The total length of the great white pelican can range from 140 to 180 cm with the enormous bill comprising 28.9 to 47.1 cm of that length. Adult males weigh from 9 to 15 kg. Females are considerably less bulky and heavy, weighing from 5.4 to 9 kg. The standard measurements from differing areas indicate that pelicans of the Western Palaearctic species are somewhat larger in size than the ones that reside in Asia and Africa.

Розов Пеликан

Loco2014, Pellikan, CC BY-SA 3.0

Ferran Pestaña, Oxyura Leucocephala, CC BY-SA 2.0

White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala)

The White-headed Duck weighs between 500 and 900 g. It has a short and stocky body with a length of 43-48 cm and its neck is short and thick. Its wings are disproportionately small and short and their wingspan reaches 62-70 cm. In nuptial plumage the male has a white head surmounted by a black cap, a large blue beak with a characteristic swollen base. It has a thick black collar. The body is bright red, more sandy on the flanks and on the top. Adult females have a rather dull colouring: a gray-brown body and a dark bill, pale face with a dark cap and cheek-stripe and a blackish, less swollen bill.

Тръноопашата Патица

Arjan Haverkamp, Pelecanus Crispus, CC BY 2.0

Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)

The Dalmatian Pelican is by a slight margin the largest of the pelican species and one of the largest living bird species. It measures 160 to 183 cm in length, 7.25 – 15.0 kg in weight and 290 – 345 cm in wingspan. The Dalmatian Pelican differs from its sibling – the Pink Pelican, in that it has curly nape feathers grey legs and silvery-white (rather than pure white) plumage. In winter the adults go from silvery-grey to a dingier brownish-grey cream color. Immature birds are grey and lack the pink facial patch of mature pelicans. The male is the same color as the female. The bones of the huge beak and the whole skeleton have a plurality of cavities filled with air.

Къдроглав пеликан

Arjan Haverkamp, Pelecanus crispus, CC BY 2.0

Sergey Yeliseev, Corncrake, CC BY 2.0

Corn Crake (Crex crex)

The Corn Crake is as big as a quail, reaching 25- 29 cm in length, 130 – 190 g in weight, and 42- 53 cm in wingspan. Adults are rusty brown with blue-grey cheeks and chestnut eye-stripe. Their throat is whitish and their neck and breast is blue-grey with chestnut smudges on its breast sides. Male crakes give a very loud and distinctive kerrx-kerrx call during the breeding season.

Ron Knight, Crex Crex, CC BY 2.0

Sergey Yeliseev, Corncrake, CC BY 2.0

Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)

The Little Bittern is the smallest European heron averaging 36 cm in length, 40-58 cm in wingspan, and 125- 150 g in weight. The nape, back, wings, and tail of the male have green tint. Its frontlet and eye-stripe is white. Its head, neck, and breast are rusty brown-beige, the breast is with dark stripes and the belly is whitish. The female has a black nape and back and the rest of its top is dark brown with yellowish ends of the feathers. The front part of its neck has blurred stripes. The top part of the head of the young ones is dark brown, the back is brown with whitish spots, and the underneath is whitish with long dark brown patches. The Little Bittern gives a loud and steady bass “a-a-a” call during the breeding season.

Малък Воден Бик

Marek Szczepanek, Botaurus Stellaris, CC BY-SA 3.0

Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)

The Eurasian Bittern measures 80 cm in length and 125-135 cm in wingspan. It is brown with darker patches and stripes. Its belly is lighter. The top of its head and the feathers between its eyes and bill are black-brown. There is no sexual dimorphism. The young ones have lighter plumage with white patches and stripes. Its longevity is 11 years.

MPF, Botaurus Stellaris, CC BY-SA 3.0

Brocken Inaglory, Ardea Alba, CC BY-SA 4.0

Great Erget (Ardea alba)

The Great Egret measures 104 cm in body length and 140 – 170 cm in wingspan. It weighs 1000-1500 g. Its silhouette is very similar to the silhouette of the Grey Heron and the Purple Heron only that it is pure white. From afar or when one cannot estimate its body length it can be confused with the Little Egret. The Great Egret is a quiet bird and its colonies are also very quiet- only the calls of the chicks asking for food can be heard. In the autumn it gathers with flocks of Grey Herons.

Голяма Бяла Чапла

Pierre Dalous, Ardpur, CC BY-SA 3.0

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)

The Purple Heron is similar to the Grey Heron only that it is smaller and with rusty shades. It measures 80-90 cm in length, 140-145 cm in wingspan, and 600-1400 g in weight. It has weakly pronounced sexual dimorphism and its plumage is mostly in grey and rusty shades. The Purple Heron flies slowly with retracted neck. Its longevity is 25 years.

Dick Daniels, Branta Ruficollis, CC BY-SA 3.0

Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)

The Red-breasted Goose is a rare and extremely beautiful species with colorful plumage. It is an averagely big bird that measures 1058 to 1650 g in weight. It is 55 cm in length and 116-135 cm in wingspan. There is no sexual dimorphism. The Red-breasted Goose is easily distinguished by its red, black, and white plumage. The lower part of the breast, the top of the head, and the back of the neck of the adults are black. There is a white oval spot between the bill and the eyes. The front part of its neck and the upper part of the breast are red-brown. Its chest is separated by a thin white stripe, and there is another white stripe on both sides. Its belly and its plumage are white, its legs and its short bill are black. The newly-hatched chicks are dark brown on top and white underneath. The longevity of the Red-breasted Goose is 15 years.

Червеногуша Гъска

Martin Dimitrievski, Phalacrocorax Pygmeus, CC BY-SA 3.0

Pigmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus)

The plumage of the Pigmy Cormorant is black-brown and males and females are almost the same. It measures 50 cm in length and 85 cm in wingspan. During the breeding period they are black-brown with white stripes on their bodies and metallic tint on their wings. During the autumn and winter the stripes and the tint disappear. The young ones have a white patch under the chin and a whitish belly and breast.

Малък Корморан

Andy Morffew, Phalacrocorax Pygmeus, CC BY 2.0

Gabriele Iuvara, Plegadis Falcinellus, CC BY-SA 2.0

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

The Glossy Ibis measures 55-66 cm in length, 88-105 cm in wingspan, and 500-800 g in weight. Its plumage is dark, crimson-brown with a green metallic sheen on the wings. In autumn and winter adults have light spots on their head and neck. The bill is long and down-curved. Its longevity is 20 years.

Блестящ ибис

Andreas Trepte, Platalea Leucorodia, CC BY-SA 2.5

Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

The Eurasian Spoonbill is from the Threskiornithidae family measuring 1 m in length, 115-135 cm in wingspan, and 1200 -1700 g in weight. Its plumage is white and the legs are black. The bill is characteristic, long with a spoon-shaped tip. The wings of the young are black at their ends. In flight its neck is straight in contrast to the neck of the herons. Its longevity is 28 years.

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