Thursday 13 May 2021

Rare vulture with wingspan of 2.8 metres visits the Netherlands

A lammergeier in flight. Photo: Depositphotos.com

A lost lammergeier has been spotted by birdwatchers soaring over southern parts of the Netherlands, website Waarneming.nl reported on Monday.

Dozens of birdwatchers spotted the bird, which has a wingspan of 2.80m, in the skies over the provinces of Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant.

The lammergeier ((Gypaetus barbatus, or bearded vulture) is thought to be around two years old, amateur ornithologists told the NRC. It is probably in search of its own territory but has travelled far from its usual craggy home, experts said.

Lammergeiers live in southern Europe and central Asia and are one of the rarest vulture species. They are also one of Europe’s biggest birds.

In Spain they are also known as ‘quebrantehuesos’, or bone breakers. The name refers to the fact the bird drop bones from a great height so it can get at the marrow.

In 2007, a large group of around 100 griffon vultures were spotted in Brabant province and spent several days in the Netherlands. They had flown north from Spain in search of food.

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