News from the young Egyptian vulture of Meteora

02.07.2018

The breeding season for the only surviving Egyptian vulture’s pair in Meteora, Greece, continues smoothly giving us hope for a happy end. The incubation period, which lasts around 42 days, started two months ago. The result of this patient process, was the arrival of the first Egyptian vulture chick of the year, not only in Greece, but in the whole of the Balkans!

For over a month now, the chick grows under the constant care of its parents while still remaining in the safe environment of its nest, on the rocks of Meteora. During the first stages of its growth, the adults fed it directly in the mouth. Now, the chick has begun to eat on its own, feeding on the pieces of meat that its parents bring to the nest.

When they hatch from the egg, Egyptian vulture chicks look like white "fluffy" balls. Gradually, they lose their initial soft down, which only serves for thermal insulation, and acquire their first normal plumage of a dark brown color. The characteristic white color of the adult Egyptian vultures will gradually appear during the next five years.

If everything goes well and the chick’s parents survive the different threats they face, in particular poison baits, they will continue to provide the hatchling with the necessary food and nurture for it to successfully fledge. We will have to wait for another month or so before the young Egyptian vulture is able to open its wings and jump from the nest for its first flight! Before the autumn has arrived, the chick will depart from the rocks of Meteora, as so will its parents, for its first major trip to Sub-Saharan Africa, where it will spend the first years of its life.

Stay tuned…. to be continued!

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One more Egyptian Vultures family can be watched online

One more Egyptian Vultures family can be watched online

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