Following final summer season’s success, this yr’s fledging of 62 younger vultures represents one other milestone for the continuing LIFE Vultures venture and rewilding in Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains.
Rewilding Europe is thrilled to report that 62 griffon vulture fledglings have efficiently taken to the air for the primary time within the Rhodope Mountains rewilding space. This maintains the upward progress development within the birds’ inhabitants, with 51 younger vultures leaving their nests on this a part of Bulgaria in summer season final yr. It rewards the fixed monitoring of the rewilding space by the Bulgarian Society for the Safety of Birds (BSPB) – Rewilding Europe’s companion organisation – in July, and all vulture conservation efforts carried out as a part of the continuing LIFE Vultures project.
Vulture chicks hatch on the finish of March and early April. They’re then raised by their dad and mom for almost 4 months till they’re able to fly, taking to the air for the primary time round 140 days after start. By the center of summer season the younger vultures usually weigh about seven to eight kilogrammes; whereas they don’t seem to be fairly as heavy as their dad and mom, they’re the identical dimension, and have all their feathers (though the colouring in juvenile vultures is totally different to grownup birds).
Whereas the primary younger vulture take-off was noticed within the area of the Studen Kladenets Reservoir in the course of July, some birds left their first try at flight till later in August. Vulture chicks are sometimes seen practising flapping their wings whereas they inhabit nesting ledges. When the wind picks up they typically open their wings to “really feel” the circulate of air – this can be a approach of studying how you can use the wind after they finally do take to the skies.
Birds are born with the intuition to fly, however they nonetheless should be taught the mechanics of flight. The primary flying classes for vultures are difficult for each dad and mom and fledglings, with the previous always coming and going from the nest.
Within the first few weeks of tentative flight younger vultures normally keep near their nests. They refine their flying abilities, studying how you can use their wings to benefit from air currents. It’s throughout this era that we witness atypical vulture behaviour, as these are birds normally famend for his or her aerial prowess.
Younger vultures typically discover themselves on the bottom because of an unsuccessful landings. They then should climb to a excessive cliff or different handy place to take off, making this essentially the most hazardous stage of their improvement. It is because of this that almost all vulture nesting colonies within the Jap Rhodopes have been monitored and guarded since 2017. These finishing up this work might help vultures in doubtlessly harmful conditions return safely to their nests.
Throughout the framework of the LIFE Vultures venture two younger birds have been fitted with GPS transmitters, permitting the Rewilding Rhodopes staff to watch their first steps in actual time. To date eight younger birds have been tagged with transmitters, of which 5 sadly didn’t survive.
Beginning in 2016, the five-year LIFE Vultures venture was developed by Rewilding Europe, in collaboration with the Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation, BSPB and a spread of different companions. Specializing in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding space in Bulgaria, in addition to a bit of the Rhodope Mountains in northern Greece, the intention of the venture is to help the restoration and additional growth of the black and griffon vulture populations on this a part of the Balkans, primarily by enhancing pure prey availability, and by lowering mortality by way of elements similar to poaching, poisoning and collisons with energy strains.