How bearded vultures get their orange colour in the wild?

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In order to better understand how and why bearded vultures get their orange colour, Stéphane Duchateau (from GOPA) and Ramuncho Tellechea (from the Office National des Forêts) put a camera trap near a ferruginous source in the French Pyrenees. After one year of observations, they have seen at least 7 adult bearded vultures (including the elements from three pairs) regularly using the site. Each bird came to the site between 2 and 14 times each between August 2014 and December 2015, both alone or in pairs (a third of the observations). They have also observed one violent fight over the site between two adults from different pairs.

Bearded vultures visited most often between the end of August to the end of October, and then in March when the winter is over, but bearded vultures can bath on the ferruginous source even when it is very cold, as they have been seen there in very cold weather.

You can see a video at and some photos here


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Photo: Hansruedi Weyrich

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