PHOTOS: Five bearded vultures are flying free again
Five bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) are flying free again.
Veterinarians of the Association for Protection of the Wild Life took care of the five vultures for five months.
Natural History Museum of Crete organized a special event on Saturday morning at Arhanes.
The bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), also known as the lammergeier or lammergeyer, is a bird of prey, and the only member of the genus Gypaetus.
Traditionally considered an Old World vulture, it actually forms a minor lineage of Accipitridae together with the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), its closest living relative.
It is not much more closely related to the Old World vultures proper than to, for example, hawks, and differs from the former by its feathered neck.
Although dissimilar, the Egyptian and bearded vulture each have a lozenge-shaped tail – unusual among birds of prey. In July 2014, the IUCN Red List has reassesed this species to be ‘near threatened’. Before July 2014, it was actually classed as Least Concern. Their population trend is decreasing.
It eats mainly carrion and lives and breeds on crags in high mountains in southern Europe, the Caucasus, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Tibet, laying one or two eggs in mid-winter that hatch at the beginning of spring. Populations are resident.