Iberianature Forum

unidentified bird of prey Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) Quebrantahuesos

  • 13 Replies
  • 14226 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lucy

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1242
    • Lucy's Blog
« on: January 03, 2008, 11:41 AM »
This is the bird I mentioned in the trip report.  It's just about possible to discern darker wing edges.  The shadow of the wing doesn't help but the head looks much darker than the breast. Any ideas?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 14:20 PM by Wildside »

Offline John C

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
    • Birding in Cadiz Province
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2008, 13:35 PM »
It's a Lammergeier - a 2nd year bird I think.  Absolutely terrific things and once my most wanted bird.   Since I'm not sure where to find your trip report where & when did you see it?

John

Offline John C

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
    • Birding in Cadiz Province
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008, 13:45 PM »
Now found your account - Egyptian Vulture would be long gone by December.  An easy mistake to make as many books don't illustrate this plumage.   Many years back on my first ever trip abroad I ticked a young Egyptian Vulture as a Lammergeier for several hours until the penny dropped!   I'd only seen my first Egyptian Vulture the day before.   It took me nearly 20 years to see a real one.

  Not quite sure where the place you mentioned is, but the Pyrennees are a strong hold for Lammergeier,

John 

Offline Clive

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 3001
  • Sierra de Grazalema
    • Wildside Walking Holidays - Spain
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2008, 14:19 PM »
Well done Lucy for getting an identifiable picture of the bearded vulture :)

(and JohnC for identifying it).

We have an info page on these amazing birds at Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) Quebrantahuesos

Clive
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 14:21 PM by Wildside »
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline lucy

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1242
    • Lucy's Blog
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2008, 16:48 PM »
I’m thrilled to bits!  Thanks JohnC and thank Darwin for Iberianature for making the ID possible.  :clapping:  I probably would never have considered the Lammergeier, just on the basis of its rarity. I’m also so used to the idea of vultures with short tails. Now I can see that the breast is orange-toned – amazing how they acquire this colour! 

The area is the eastern Catalan pre-Pyrenees, just south of the Cerdanya valley, very near the Sierra de Cadí and La Molina ski station.

I’ve found a web page (in Catalan) of GEPT
(http://www.gypaetus.com/), a group dedicated to the study and protection of Bearded Vultures and they state that the Catalan population has been recovering, so there are now 33 pairs (though  they’re still under threat, especially because of poisoning). Important factors are an increase of wild ungulates (rebecos in the Cadi area), setting up of feeding stations, and regular monitoring of their population.

I gather it’s much easier to spot them in the west Catalan Pyrenees than where I was.  :dancing:


Offline Clive

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 3001
  • Sierra de Grazalema
    • Wildside Walking Holidays - Spain
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2008, 17:35 PM »
There is also a lot of info in English at
http://www.quebrantahuesos.org:9080/control?zone=pub&sec=ppal&pag=presentacion&loc=en

One of the fascinating parts is the link on the left called "Specimen Tracking"... If you click on that you can then choose to see data from tagged birds...

Clive

Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline John C

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
    • Birding in Cadiz Province
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2008, 17:47 PM »
They really are fabulous birds.  When I looked for them at Gavarnie (France) in 1970 the population was at a very low ebb.  We arrived at dusk and camped just off the road below a massive cliff.  Up at first light, we birded until about 10:30, but then left, en route to southern Spain, disappointed we hadn't seen one.  I later learnt that we'd camped near a Lammergeier's nest site & now realise that we'd left too early as vultures are often not up until late morning.  

Twenty five years, a job, family & mortgage later I was back in Gavarnie, back by that cliff and again hoping for a sighting.    I was watching a Rock Bunting when one of my companions tapped me on the shoulder and quietly said 'John, look up'.  Immediately above me were three Lammageiers flying low one behind the other.  I'll always be grateful that he didn't shout, but allowed me to 'find them for myself'.  I've since seen them a number of times in the Hecho valley and near Benasque (sp?) and they never fail to impress.  One of the few disappointments of spending so much time so far south is that I'm unlikley to see one ................ but who knows?  Odd birds have been reported and it'd be fantastic to see one at Tarifa.  Wonderful birds and well worth a quarter of a century wait!

John

Offline Clive

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 3001
  • Sierra de Grazalema
    • Wildside Walking Holidays - Spain
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2008, 17:55 PM »
You may yet see them in the South John

http://www.quebrantahuesos.org:9080/htm/en/quebra/control?zone=pub&sec=quebra&pag=verListado&est=OK_&tp=1&loc=en
Scroll down until you find Tono, Fausto and Libertad and these are the three males that were released in the sierra de Cazorla area in 2006. The records show that Tono was last seen in May of this year, Libertad in August whilst Fausto hasn’t been seen. Faust is marked alive though presumably as the Satellite tracking device is still sending signals.
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline John C

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
    • Birding in Cadiz Province
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2008, 20:09 PM »
Thanks Clive.  I knew of the project to re-introduce them in the south, but not about that website.  An excellent read and a brilliant project,
John 

Offline lucy

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1242
    • Lucy's Blog
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2008, 22:59 PM »
There is a nice video here of a Bearded Vulture swallowing bones:

http://www.recercaenaccio.cat/agaur_reac/AppJava/ca/video/070228-trencalos-adult-.jsp

Offline lisa

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 2439
    • Accommodation and Activities in the Picos de Europa
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2008, 10:01 AM »
Lucky Lucy! There are a couple of articles on Lammergeier and the reintroductions in December's Quercus. What impressed me about the three released in Andalucia 2006, apart from the distances flown in one day was the fact that the three of them started their long-distance flights independantly within days of each other after about a year of remaining more or less in the area they were released into. I had assumed they were two males and one female to make a possible breeding unit, but now see they're all male. So the idea is to establish territories alone first?
Tono was last known to be in the Pyrenees between Huesca and Navarra at the end of last August.
Libertad has lost his transmitter but has been seen since alive and well south of Rioja.
Faust has stayed in the south, having checked out Ronda/Grazalema way (!) and has hung around Cazorla since last July.
Looks like I'll have to be fairly quick if I want to see one when the three are released in the Picos  :santa_wink:
Lucy, could you see any wing markings?

www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline lucy

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1242
    • Lucy's Blog
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2008, 10:36 AM »
Hi Lisa,

My sightings were too far away to notice much detail.  The thought of Bearded Vultures in an area so far east in the pre-Pyrenees didn’t even occur to me. The first time I looked up and glimpsed what I mistook to be an Egyptian vulture, not realising that, as John mentions, they have all migrated.  The second was the one I photographed, and there don’t seem to be any unusual bright markings there (as in the photo of Libertad). If I went back specifically to have another look, I’m sure I wouldn’t have the same luck!

Offline Clive

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 3001
  • Sierra de Grazalema
    • Wildside Walking Holidays - Spain
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2008, 10:50 AM »
Hi Lisa,

Do you mean that in the Quercus they are giving out information that is not on the tracking pages of quebrantehuesos.org?

It is a bit annoying if they are not updating the website pages when new sightings and information is recorded....
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline lisa

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 2439
    • Accommodation and Activities in the Picos de Europa
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2008, 08:29 AM »
Hi Clive, in my experience very few Spanish nature related websites are regularly updated (IberiaNature not included of course!) but, having said that, perhaps the birds with no recent data through having lost their transmitters just get left out of that tracking page.
My Sat/Kings evening was spoilt somewhat by the news from Teresa that the reintroduction programme for the Picos has been delayed again but, having looked, this is not reflected on the website. We'll see. I know they're getting a lot of flack from other birding quarters. Another (ornithological) friend is of the opinion that regional conservation groups are very territorial (think robins) and we all agreed there should be much more cooperation between all the various organisations but, as was pointed out, it's all a reflection of Spanish government in general.
(I was cheered up by a walk yesterday with the call of a Black woodpecker being pointed out to me while we watched a pair of Golden eagles!)
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.