Following the tagging of a Rüppell’s vulture in Portugal last June (see news section below), a number of other individuals of this African species have been seen in Portugal in the last few months.
On 15 August a Swedish observer (Magnus Elfwing) reported 1 near Portas do Ródão (Vila Velha do Ródão). A week later (26/08) one immature was reported by Georg Schreier in the Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana, together with 150 griffons (Gyps fulvus) and 5 black vultures (Aegypius monachus). On the 2nd September another Gyps rueppellii was seen between Portalegre and Arronches by Raquel Tavares (together with 4 griffons). Already this month (04/10) one was observed between Raposeira (Vila do Bispo) and Sagres, together with 8 griffons, by several observers. One day earlier, one had been spotted feeding with 120 griffon and 7 black vultures at the Feeding Station for Scavenger Birds in Contenda (Moura).
Ruppell´s vulture – globally classified as “Threatened”, is a Sub-Saharan species, but number of records in the Iberian peninsula has been increasing significantly during the last decade, and mixed pairs (with griffon) have even tried to breed (unsuccesfully). It is thought that these African vultures mix with wintering griffons in West Africa, and then come up to Iberia during the spring in their flocks.
In the photo below you can see a Rüppell’s Vulture (left) and Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus, right) together at the Moura feeding station. The photo was taken by Alfonso Godino , from the LIFE Habitat Lince Abutre.