Griffon Vulture - Gyps fulvus

On Wednesday 28 April 1993 Fokko Padmos was training on his bicycle north of Amsterdam. At around 11:00 hours near Durgerdam he noticed a large bird in a tree mobbed by crows and jackdaws. Thinking he had seen a Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus, he warned other birders to check this bird. Meanwhile he went home, to get his binoculars and returned to the site again. Identification of Griffon Vulture proved to be right, but the bird was wearing rings too. Because of being ringed, a lot of birders thought it was an escaped bird and didn't bother to take a look, although it stayed in the area till Monday 3 May.

The bird had a white ring with inscription A1 and a metal ring and after some research (one of the first times internet was used to obtain information) it became clear the bird was captured in September 1987 as a young bird in the village of Torsa in Northern Italy. Most probably, the bird originated from the Croatian population on the Kvarner Isles. In February 1992 the bird was released again with 11 other birds at Forgaria nel, Fruili, north of Udinese and was seen in the general area till April 1992. After its stay in the Netherlands it apparently returned south as it was shot on 9 November 1995 in Slovenia (cf Dutch Birding 15 (3): 143, 1993, DB 17 (4): 133-140, 1995).

28 April 1993, Durgerdam NH; © Hans ter Haar.

28 April 1993, Durgerdam NH; © Arnoud van den Berg.

At that time it was the fifth record for the Netherlands. Till 2000 there were 9 records, concerning 19 individuals (cf van den Berg & Bosman 2001: 98-99).

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