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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Egyptian vulture summer

It has been almost three months since I posted information about the Egyptian vulture.  Look back at the 9 June blog post to remind yourself.  Since then we have heard very little from the bird.  Really only three times, although during those times the transmitter was able to download some archived data.

What seems to have happened is that the vulture has been spending much of its time outside of the GSM network, probably in the steep valleys of Wadi Sareen Nature Reserve.  We don't know for sure why it has spent so much time there, but certainly the high mountains and steep cliffs could potentially offer some relief from the summer heat.

The three times it has ventured out since 9 June (See map below), were loops through NE Oman that took the vulture to places it frequented during last winter and spring, including Ibra and the Tahwa landfill site.  This behaviour is interesting, because it could be useful for a scavenger, like an Egyptian vulture, to visit sites where it has found food in the past.  By visiting these sites not only could our vulture feed, but it could also assess the availability of food over its very large foraging area.  Such knowledge could be useful indeed, if food becomes scarce.  It should be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks as the weather cools, and migrating vultures arrive from Eurasia.

Of course, last Saturday was International Vulture Awareness Day.  This blog is a follow-up to keep you aware.

Movements of an Egyptian vulture during 9 June - 31 August 2017.

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