The second-ever Griffon Vulture chick to hatch in the Green Balkans’ Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre reached four months old and left the Centre to start its life in the wild!
Second Griffon Vulture chick to hatch at Centre
The chick’s egg pipped on 7 April 2020, after 53 days of diligent incubation. With the help of its parent, the chick successfully hatched the next day. During the hatching, the parents were observing the process, and impatiently awaiting the arrival of their chick!
The father, Belcho, had proven himself once again as a nurturing parent, taking care of the new chick just like he did when he was rearing Parvolet, the first chick to ever hatch at the Centre, with his ex-partner Leshka in 2014. For the young mother Nadezhda, this is the first offspring, but she is a very caring mother and was constantly taking care of her chick.
Acclimatizing to the wild
In the wild, when young Griffon Vultures are 3 to 4 months old and have fully developed wings, the parents encourage them to leave the nest and start their first flying lessons. So, once the chick reached four months old, it was time to get in touch with the wild. However, the pair of Griffon Vultures in the Centre do not raise their young outdoors, as both parents have physical disabilities. Hence, the birds that hatch in the Centre have to stay for about a year in aviaries in the wild to help them adapt to their surroundings. So, as part of the Vultures Back to LIFE project, a team released the young bird in an adaptation aviary at the Sinite Kamani Nature Park. In the aviary, the young bird will have contact with other vulture species, from which it will learn basic skills and have enough time to get used to the surrounding environment while it remains safe.
When the time comes, the little one will be released and join the local wild colony. Parvolet, the chick that hatched at the Center in 2014, was released with the same method, and after six years of exploring new areas, he has returned to the territory of the Sinite Kamani National Park, which he now recognizes as his home.
Other news from the Vultures Back to LIFE Project
The Vultures Back to LIFE project recently carried out a very important action. A team met with local livestock breeders around the Vratsa Balkan National Park to encourage them to donate animals that die from natural causes for food to vultures on the site. This practice benefits both vultures and livestock breeders. In this way, the breeders take advantage of the free and natural carcass disposal service provided by vultures, and the project team procures food that they receive for free from the livestock breeders to make available at the vulture feeding stations.
Source: Green Balkans
Vultures Back to LIFE
Led by the wildlife conservation charity Green Balkans, with activities also implemented by the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna, and bringing together partners from Bulgaria, Spain and Germany, Vultures Back to LIFE aims to reintroduce the cinereous or Eurasian black vulture to Bulgaria. The team will transfer and release around 60 birds, some from captive-breeding, but mostly coming from wildlife rehabilitation centers in Extremadura (Spain) into the wild in Bulgaria as well as creating supplementary feeding stations and improving populations of wild herbivores, improving the nesting conditions and creating artificial nest sites and tackling some of the major threats to vultures in the country such as insulating electricity pylons and illegal use of poison in the nature.