Bearded Vultures in the UK and northwest Europe

28 October 2020

Bearded Vulture, Cowbit, Lincolnshire 10 October 2020 © Steve P. Dudley/BOU

In the January 2019 issue of British Birds, the BOU’s Records Committee (BOURC) and British Birds Rarities Committee published a paper (British Birds 112: 26-34) outlining the status of extralimital records of Bearded Vultures in northwest Europe.

This paper looked at >70 Bearded Vultures away from their range in the Alps and the Pyrenees over a 25-year period. The species has been placed in Category E in all northwest European countries where birds were seen, apart from Norway where one record is in Category D.

The record of a 2CY female Bearded Vulture at various locations in England this summer and autumn generated much interest, not just in terms of people wishing to see this spectacular bird, but also as to its origin.

On 13 October the Vulture Conservation Foundation published a statement confirming that following genetic analysis from feathers collected, the bird was a female which hatched in 2019 in a wild nest in the Alps.

Crucially, the status of the bird’s parents is not yet public, but we expect a forthcoming paper in British Birds to provide that information. Once known, this record can then be assessed against the criteria outlined in British Birds 112: 26-34

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