15 Dec 2019

Juvenile Eurasian Griffon Vulture - Ushaiqer

A trip to look for the huge number of Steppe Eagles at Ushaiqer resulted in finding a single juvenile Eurasian Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus on the flat plains near the dry wadi edge. This is a scarce bird in the Kingdom with almost all records from the southwest Asir mountains. Birds have been recorded regularly in the north central region of the country but recent records have declined significantly so our record was unexpected to say the least. With the large number of birds of prey present and chicken offal being dumped we were hoping to locate other vultures but were unsuccessful. This location is a truly amazing site for raptors with an astonishing number of Steppe Eagles representing approximately 10% of the species world population. Landfill sites, particularly if offal is disposed at them, as at this site, obviously play an important part in raptor migration as well as for wintering locations. The fact only a single Eurasian Griffon Vulture was recorded suggests this species is rare in the area. The massive gathering of birds of prey, and the fact large amounts of offal are available, would surely have attacked other vultures if present in the area.
Eurasian Griffon Vulture

Eurasian Griffon Vulture

Eurasian Griffon Vulture

Eurasian Griffon Vulture

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