As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Tagged Egyptian Vultures drown crossing the Med

When Regina, and then Lom – two of the three captive bred Egyptian Vultures released this year in Bulgaria – crossed from Turkey to Cyprus on their migration south, our hearts sunk. We knew already that about 70% of all tagged wild nestlings from the Balkans ended up drowning in the Med in their first migratory journey, and 3 of the 6 Egyptian vultures the VCF and CERM released last year in southern Italy also did not make it to the southern shores of the Med, falling into the sea. 

We were hoping that Regina – the first bird to migrate, and then Lom – would follow the Turkish coast, but she unfortunately flew from Antalya to Cyprus on the 8th of September. After roosting on the western coast of Cyprus, she left her night perch quite early, between 6:00 and 7:00, and continued her migration south entering again into the sea through Akrotiri Peninsula at 10:00 – from there the distance to the nearest coast is 240 km. For 6 hours she flew over 190 km and at 16:00 she was only some 50 km from the Lebanese coast, but rather than flying east, she continued to fly over the sea some more 130 km in a southwestern direction and finally fell into the water, probably exhausted, at 20:00, just 25 km from the coast of Tel Aviv... 

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