Vulture on Texel is waiting for thermals for take-off

The vulture on Texel. Photo: Erik Menkveld
The vulture on Texel. Photo: Eric Menkveld

Bird watchers have been flocking to the Wadden Sea island of Texel to catch sight of a Griffon vulture which has taken up temporary residence.

It is the seventh time a vulture has turned up on the island in recent years. ‘We see them more often now because they are doing well in France and Spain and young ones venture outside of their habitat,’ Eric Menkveld of nature preservation organisation Natuurmonumenten told Dutch News.

The Texel vulture is about three years old judging by its feathers and has a wingspan of 2.5 metres. It has been feasting on local hare and geese.

It also flies among the rare breed of cows kept by the daughter of campsite owner Alphine Smit-Bakker every once in a while, but was chased off because the animals were protecting their calves.

‘I know it’s a predator and won’t attack the calves but one of the cows just gave birth and we thought it might be attracted by the blood, so we kept an eye on it,’ Smit-Bakker told broadcaster RTL Nieuws.

The vulture is expected to stay until the weather warms up and the thermals it uses to get about are right for take-off. Menkveld told Dutch News he expects it to leave in the coming few days.

In 2021, a bearded vulture which ventured into the Netherlands was hit by the blade of a wind turbine and killed.

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