Island hopping and heading east – the latest travels of Bulgaria’s cinereous vultures

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Ostrava in the Kotel Mountains (C) Hristo Peshev/FWFF
Ostrava in the Kotel Mountains (C) Hristo Peshev/FWFF

Young cinereous vultures are known to be great wanderers as they explore their new homes after fledging from the nest and Riga, Boyan and Ostrava, the three birds reintroduced to Bulgaria are no exception.

Island hopping

When we last caught up with the three cinereous vultures it was Riga who was the most adventurous, traveling to south west Greece from the release site in Kotel Mountains in Bulgaria, whilst Ostrava and Boyan were not venturing far from the release site.

Riga is still roaming the area, after their visit to south west Greece they headed back east Evia island, but returned west and made it to Greece’s Peloponese Peninusla. In their attempt to head further south Riga flew to the island of Ydra and after roosting there for the night headed further south west to the island to Kithira. It’s hoped that Riga might make the 270km journey to reach Crete through the small island of Anthkitira.

Riga has traveled a great distance and thanks to the GPS tracking we are able to monitor their movements closely,  working with our Greek colleagues on the project we are ready to react should they stop moving as a result of exhaustion or not finding food.

Crossing the Bosporus 

Making short expeditions from the release site Boyan finally left the area and traveling around 40km-60km a day. They headed east from the Kotel Mountains heading into south east Greece and have crossed the Bosporus and are now following the southern coastline of the Black Sea in Turkey. We really hope Boyan heads south from their current location as they will be close to the cinereous vulture colonies in Sakarya and Bolu.


Staying close to home

Ostrava at a feeding station (C) Hristo Peshev/FWFF
Ostrava at a feeding station (C) Hristo Peshev/FWFF

Ostrava, the youngest of the three birds is still in Kotel and seems to be in no rush to leave the area and moving short distances from suitable roosting sites to the feeding sites joining the group of about 40 local griffon vultures and back.

Our partners from the Vultures Back To LIFE, Green Balkans and Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna are vigilant and are following the movements of all three birds closely in this historic reintroduction programme.

Article Source: Vulture Conservation Foundation