Another bearded vulture visits Netherlands – Updated news

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Binoculars were fixed to the skies above a pine forest near the city of Middelburg in the Netherlands this weekend as birders reported the news of the 17th bearded vulture to be spotted visiting the country.

This young bearded vulture, estimated to be around three years old, was spotted by birders on Sunday 27 May at around 3.30pm. News quickly spread of the arrival of the young bird and a small crowd of people came to witness the sight before the bird went to roost in a nearby tree, which is being monitored by local game wardens. 

From the observations made by birders it’s believed that the young visitor is a wildborn individual as it had no visible feather markings. All released birds (in the reintroduction projects managed by the VCF) get some of their wing-feathers bleached which allow us to identify them in flight, and all the birds are also tagged. This suggests this bearded vulture is the seventh wildborn bird of the 17 that have visited the area – the others were either birds released in the wild in the Alps, or of unknown origin. 

Visits to the Netherlands by young bearded vultures is almost becoming an annual occasion for a species that is usually found in the mountainous regions of Europe. Flying great distances and exploring new areas is normal behaviour for young bearded vultures, as they explore new areas. This behaviour is usally observed in the first spring after fledging, so it’s a little surprising that this individual has traveled such a great distance north. Once the bird has left its roost, it’s hoped that feather collected from the area surrounding the tree will help reveal DNA information about this Dutch visitor that will help scientists understand the origins of this bird – Alps or Pyrenees.

Once again. Bearded vulture cause a stir! They are indeed magnificent birds. We will keep you posted about the whereabouts of this bird – maybe it will fly north to Germany?

Photo credit: Corstiaan Beeke

Latest update – 01/06/18

The young bearded vulture spotted on Sunday 27 May in the Zealand province of the Netherlands has headed 160km north and has been seen in the dunes of northern Holland, the Schoorlse Duinen.

Thanks to all the updates to the birding community of the Netherlands for keeping us informed. 

Photo credit: Rutger Rotscheid

Latest update – 04/06/18

Traveling an almost straight line 150km east from the dunes in Schrool, over Lake Markermeer and possibly over Amsterdam (unseen), the young bearded vulture was spotted on Saturday 2 June in the Olst-Wijhe region of the eastern Netherlands.

Will this youngster follow the same route that previous bearded vultures have when they have visited Holland and head east to Germany? We’ll let you know……

Thanks to all the updates to the birding community of the Netherlands for keeping us informed. 

Photo credit: Mark Zekhuis

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