Egyptian Vultures visit the Griffons

Egyptian Vultures visit the Griffons

This year, in April (from 10th to 22nd) our colleagues from the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna observed an adult Egyptian Vulture which was constantly present at the supplementary feeding site near Kotel. One other young bird appeared in the beginning of May. It is interesting that the two birds would not be seen at the same time, what makes us think they may be taking turns incubating, yet only time will show…

On May 12th, a team of Green Balkans spotted an adult bird above the highway near Kermen. Later the same vulture was photographed by the photo trap set at the supplementary feeding site near Sliven. After we contacted our colleagues from BSPB it became clear that this Egyptian Vulture is the five-year-old Iliyas, tagged with a satellite transmitter. Iliyas hatched in the Eastern Rhodopes and spent three years in Africa. In 2016 the bird returned to Bulgaria for the first time. It has been in the Eastern Rhodopes, passed the supplementary feeding site in Central Balkan and is now in the area of Sliven.

At the same time, on May 17th, Georgi Stoyanov of the Birds of Prey Protection Society observed a subadult Egyptian Vulture on the cliffs above the adaptation aviary near the Dolno Ozirovo village. This is the first Egyptian Vulture seen in 2017 in the area of Vrachanski Balkan.

We are happy to share such news, because Egyptian Vultures are critically endangered, with a population of barely 30 pairs in Bulgaria. Furthermore, the main part of the breeding pairs is concentrated in the Eastern Rhodopes with only some 10 pairs known also in Northeastern Bulgaria. Fortunately, following the start of the Griffon Vulture restoration programme in the Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria, with the operation of supplementary feeding sites, maintained within the Vultures Back to LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 Project, the observations of foraging Egyptian Vultures in our target areas are become more and more frequent and desired.

For further information:
Emilian Stoynov - Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna, mob. +359 878 573841