A young bearded vulture was seen on the 12th May in the UK (see video) – probably the same bird that was spotted in western Belgium of the 9th of May.
The bird seems to be a first or second year bearded vulture, and does not seem have any ring or markings, suggesting it could be a wild bird – which could come from the Alps or the Pyrenees. All released birds (in the reintroduction projects managed by the VCF) are ringed, and also equipped with a tracking tag. Even if these fall (which sometimes happens), they get some of their wing-feathers bleached, which allows us to identify them in flight. These marks should still be visible in a two year old bird.
Flying great distances and exploring new areas is normal for young bearded vultures. To fly all the way to the north is not that common, but it happens every now and then.
The normal home of bearded vultures are the mountainous regions of Europe, Asia and Africa. There they find the perfect conditions for flying, steep walls for breeding & open landscape to search for bones to feed on. Let’s hope the young bird finds the way back to the mountains!
Video via Andrew Mason.