Monitoring of breeding and wintering raptors

There are 28 species of breeding raptors (incl. owls) in Estonia and all of them are protected. Raptors are also good indicators of biodiversity, habitat degradation and environmental pollution. Monitoring of these protected species, as well as our environment, are the main reasons for conducting the current project, which follows population dynamics and breeding success of birds of prey in Estonia.

Since 1994 the project is a part of Estonian national environmental monitoring scheme and 10-20 study plots (most of them are UTM-based 5x10 or 10x10 km areas) have been monitored annually. The surveys cover the entire breeding season, including mapping of nesting territories, searching for nests and checking of potential nest sites. Since 2014 we also monitor wintering raptors in the study areas. We also collect information on breeding of rare raptors all over Estonia. 

Contact: Ülo Väli (

Lesser spotted eagle (Clanga pomarina). Photo: Karl Adami.