Like most of the bearded vultures released in the Andalusia reintroduction project, Esperanza – the bearded vulture chick born in the wild last year in Cazorla – has moved north in the first year, and is now in the Sierra de Gredos.
Young released in Andalucía have frequented Gredos in the past, and this summer, it was estimated that at least 5 birds from the reintroduction project in southern Spain were present there. Incredibly, through photographs, one of them was identified as Esperanza, through the colour-ring it sports – at the time its´ tag was not transmitting so her whereabouts were unknown to the project team.
Esperanza was the first bearded vulture to be born in the wild in Andalusia after extinction in the mid-80s, and the start of the releases there in 2006. Unfortunately this year Toño and Blimunda – the young pair that produced her – did not lay eggs.
All these observations suggest that Sierra de Gredos, part of the Central Iberian system that runs across Spain from west to east, is a key area for the dispersion of the species. It also confirms that the dispersion behaviour that young bearded vultures usually do in their Spring is common to both released and wild born birds.