Girun and Volcaire – two young bearded vultures bred in captivity within the VCF managed captive-breeding network – were placed in the hacking platform on the 3rd of June, as part of the reintroduction project in the Alps-Grands Causses, now managed under the LIFE GYPCONNECT project.
Volcaire was the first to fledge, on the 1st of July, aged 117 days. He spent his last two days at the base of the cliff, after an altercation with Girun, and without feeding, and that may have prompted him to try his first (short) flight. He is now making longer flights (see video) but keeps coming to the hacking platform for feeding.
As for Girun, she kept exercising her wings, but decided to break the record of the oldest young ever to fledge – 128 days! She seemed to like the hacking platform and spent time doing long siestas under the shade, but finally fledged the 6th of July when staff approached the hacking platform to check on something.
They have both been equipped with GPS tags, but unfortunately these have had a malfunction and are not working, so we rely on visual observations to track them – some of their flight feathers have also been decoloured for flight identification, and they sport colour rings.
This article was first published by the Vulture Conservation Foundation 19 July 2016