Griffon Vulture Webcam in Israel

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Marbzy
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Re: Griffon Vulture Webcam in Israel

Post by Marbzy »

The death toll has increased to 12: https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/more- ... uth-683250

It's sickening.

E08, T66 and another unnamed griffon vulture - fly forever in peace...
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Polly
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Post by Polly »

December 5th

If I interpret it correctly, a black vulture was seen at the feeding station.
Black vultures are more at home in Europe and are no longer found in Israel? Maybe Marbzy can clear up something. Is the black vulture here to winter?
In any case, he asserts himself at the feeding station.

"Let nature be your teacher."
(William Wordsworth)
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Post by Marbzy »

Polly wrote: December 5th, 2021, 1:11 pm If I interpret it correctly, a black vulture was seen at the feeding station.
Black vultures are more at home in Europe and are no longer found in Israel? Maybe Marbzy can clear up something. Is the black vulture here to winter?
In any case, he asserts himself at the feeding station.
Technically speaking, the bird in the video above is a cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus, often called Eurasian black vulture, and not the same as Coragyps atratus, i.e. the (American) black vulture). As can be seen in the video below (especially between 12:53:04 and 12:53:57), it's a very young bird, hatched probably in 2021. The bird is unmarked, and I cannot therefore provide accurate information on the cinereous vulture's (CV) origin, except that (s)he did not hatch in Israel:



The European range of the CV is expanding slowly. Spain remains its stronghold, but reintroduction projects are operated in various parts of southern Europe, including Bulgaria. Nevertheless, we often tend to disregard the Asian populations of the CV, extending from Turkey, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, the post-USSR countries east of the Caspian Sea, Russia, Mongolia and China. The likely origin of this particular juvenile bird may thus be narrowed down to Turkey, possibly also the Caucasus and the Balkans.

With the notable exception of the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) Old World vultures are non-migratory in the strict sense. Nevertheless, it appears to be relatively common e.g. for juvenile and immature griffon vultures to disperse a bit. The Spanish GVs are well-known for attempting (with mixed success) to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, and quite a few Balkan-born GVs are regularly observed in Israel and the Middle East - this autumn alone, we have observed two female juvenile griffons from Serbia (44, Ljubica, and 46, Magdalena) at a feeding station in the Judean desert) and one male juvenile griffon from Serbia (54, Apolon) at the Hai-Bar Carmel feeding station. Earlier today, I also received evidence of the Bulgarian griffon A4 paying another visit to Israel (the bird was observed in March this year in the Judean Desert). Add to that one bird from Croatia (ring code CA5 green).

Likewise, the cinereous vulture observed in the Judean Desert between 20 November and 5 December is not the first representative of the species to have been observed in the Charter Group Birdcams live camera launched in March 2021 - two other observations were made there on 29 March and 12 April, respectively. Since the CV's diet is very similar to the GV's, it's only to be expected that a passing CV will occasionally join a party of frenzied griffons at a richly laid table :)

The young CV has not been observed in either of the Charter Group Birdcams feeding station live cams since 5 December. The next couple of weeks might give us more insight into the bird's wintering plans.
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Post by Marbzy »

5 January 2022

On 2 January 2022 vultures returned en masse to the Judean Desert feeding station. Among them were two griffon vultures from Serbia (the two females marked 44 and 46 red), one griffon vulture from Bulgaria (A4 - the same bird had been observed in the area a month or so earlier), and one cinereous vulture. One cannot be entirely sure if the CV was the same bird as the vulture observed at the feeding station between 20 November and 5 December 2021. But although the bird is unmarked and their identity may not be determined beyond doubt, the large bunch of GVs observed at the station on 2 January were generally the same birds as those seen in late November/early December. There is a good chance that the CV has been hanging around with their Gyps friends all this time, wintering in Israel.

The CV may be seen in this 2 January stream between 09:21:52 and 12:27:55:


However, a paper (more accurately a letter) was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Raptor Research just a few months ago in which Ron Efrat and Ohad Hatzofe reported possible evidence of a migration route used by Eurasian CVs wintering in East Africa. In November 2018, a migrating juvenile CV was fitted with a GPS transmitter in southern Israel. Following the bird's release, the vulture flew south, ending up 17.9 degrees N latitude in Sudan, not far from the river Nile. The journey from Israel to Sudan took the bird just one week, in which the CV travelled 200 to 431 km per day. In March 2019, the bird took 14 days to reach the Sea of Marmara. The vulture spent the next 7.5 months in northern Turkey, gradually moving west to east. Then the CV began another migration on 29 October and on 4 November flew over the point where it had been trapped almost exactly a year earlier. The vulture the took a 12-day break in Sinai before continuing the migration, which eventually took it some 300 km south of its 2018-2019 wintering site. Four days later, the bird returned to that site. The last reading reported in the paper was taken on 31 December 2019.

The authors point to other reports of CVs wintering in Sudan and Uganda, as well as warn that the vulture may not have originated in northern Turkey as juvenile CV do not necessarily summer in the area where they hatched.

More fascinating information regarding CV migration routes may be found here:
Efrat, R., and O. Hatzofe (2021). First evidence of a migration route from Eurasia to East Africa of the Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius Monachus). Journal of Raptor Research 55(3):451–454.

Vulture afficionados may also be interested to study e.g. the open access paper called Differential movement of adult and juvenile Cinereous Vultures (Aegypius monachus) (Accipitriformes: Accipitridae) in Northeast Asia (by Richard P. Reading and 9 co-authors).
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Post by Marbzy »

25 January

The handicapped griffon vulture pair at Hai-Bar Carmel have been mating with increasing intensity. There are hopes that the female will lay an egg in the coming weeks or even days.

Some of the vultures in the Negev have been incubating newly laid eggs for over a week. First, J35 laid an egg to T99 on 9 January. A week later, on 16 January, J04 laid an egg to A40. Israel Raptor Nest Cam have been monitoring both pairs.

Here's a highlights video they published of J35 and T99's progress in the six weeks preceding laying:


In the wake of the disastrous poisoning which killed 12 Israeli GVs in the Negev in October 2021, the population needs a boost. Fingers crossed!
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Post by Marbzy »

There's just one camera switching from one pair to the other from time to time at https://www.birds.org.il/en/camera/26

And here's a brilliant highlights footage of J04 and A40 (a newly formed pair) getting to know each other, mating, building their nest, scraping and incubating:


All the best to the newly-weds :D
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Post by Marbzy »

A griffon vulture chick hatched to J35 and T99 on 9 March 2022:

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Post by Marbzy »

And just one day later, on 10 March 2022, a chick hatched to J04 and A40:

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Post by Marbzy »

Pictured here at 12 days of age...



...J35 and T99's chick is now over 40 days old and has thus already the period of fastest growth (weeks 6-12).
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Post by Marbzy »

J04 and A40's chick, pictured below at the age of 2 weeks...



...is now developing fast too, having already started to grow his/her flight feathers.
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Post by Marbzy »

The nest at Hai-Bar Carmel has seen a fair share a trouble this season. The female laid two eggs, on 5 February and 2 March (reserve egg), both of which turned out to be infertile. On 2 April, the dummy egg placed in the nest on 3 March was removed, and a chick (that hatched from an egg laid by a captive pair at Ramat Hanadiv) was entrusted to the resident pair. Unfortunately, the chick died around 10:15 on 8 April. A couple of hours later, the chick's body was collected and a dummy egg was returned to the nest. It is not yet clear if or when another chick will be provided for the resident pair to raise.

Here's a short Charter Group Birdcams clip showing the resident female welcoming the Ramat Hanadiv chick on 2 April:


Fingers crossed there are enough eggs around Israel for the resident pair to be given a second chance.
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Post by Marbzy »

On 4 May 2022 a new chick was brought to the nest in the Hai-Bar Carmel reserve to be raised by the handicapped pair of 22-year-olds:



Just like last year, it's been a case of second time lucky...
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Post by Marbzy »

As this recent video from Charter Group Birdcams shows, the aged parents are experts at feeding the baby (52 days old in the clip):



It actually quite amazing that the chick is able to process all the food the parents pump into him/her in a matter of hours. The next morning that full crop is but a distant memory!
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Post by Marbzy »

Today the chick is 60 days old. Feathers are covering his/her body at a stunning rate. The little vulture is able to stand on his/her toes like a mature bird. His/her walk can still be a bit wobbly and his/her wing exercises are a bit lacking in coordination. But that's not to worry - the chick has another 60-80 days to go before fledging. Charter Group Birdcams continues to stream live from the nest - just make sure you bring your ear-plugs as the little screecher certainly knows how to use his/her lungs.

Here's another CGB clip showing the chick at 60 days of age this morning (30 June):

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Post by Abigyl »

:wave:

JULY 3rd

Today, around 14:00 there was a long visit of A60 on the Haifa nest.

Little baby was almost fighting him and begged for food :mrgreen:

It was a very noisy visit :slap:
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Post by Marbzy »

The complete Charter Group Birdcams stream for the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. period of 3 July 2022 is available here:



A60 shows up next to the nest at 13:51:13 and moves out of view at 13:59:05. All this time, the chick's foster Dad is behind the nest, guarding the nestling. There's no significant interaction between the chick and A60. Any such interaction would have been stopped by the parent if it had been initiated by A60.

At 14:00:40 the chick's foster Mom arrives, and the nestling immediately starts begging her for food. The chick is promptly fed by Mom first from the near end and then from the far end of the nest.

This 15-minute passage of video could be used to illustrate the 63-day-old chick's ability to recognise his/her Mom as well as the chick's knowledge that you don't beg a foreign vulture for food.
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