The Medraptors blog recently brought us a wonderful story – see photos taken by Juan Ramirez some weeks ago at the Strait of Gibraltar.
Vultures and other soaring raptors need ascending thermal currents to fly long distances, and so any sea crossing is a challenge for them -as these air currents do not form over the sea surface. That is why they choose to cross water usually in the straits.
The straits of Gibraltar, only 14 km wide, usually do not pose any problems for soaring birds, but even there some raptors do go down, and sometimes die drowned in the sea. One griffon though managed to finish its sea crossing from Morocco to Spain swimming – flapping his wings on the water. When it finally reached shore, it dried up on a rock and then flew off.
Photos Juan Ramirez via Medraptors