ID POINT­ERS

Bird Watching (UK) - - Uk Bird Sightings -

Un­like most Old World vul­tures, which breed in colonies, Black Vul­tures do so only in looser groups, and are also less likely to be so­cia­ble away from the nest. Al­though in some ar­eas they oc­cur along­side the Grif­fon Vul­ture, with which they can be con­fused at dis­tance, they are far less of a bird of the moun­tains than the com­moner species. They are the dom­i­nant rap­tors through­out their range, even bul­ly­ing other large vul­tures and ea­gles at kills, and on rare oc­ca­sions may even take live prey.

IN MALLORCA, LOOK FOR AT… Mallorca’s most im­por­tant and sought-af­ter breed­ing bird is only found in the Serra de Tra­muntana. Nearly ex­tinct on the is­land in the early 1980s, a con­ser­va­tion project was started in 1983, with the help of the re­gional govern­ment of the Balearic Is­lands. The first breed­ing suc­cess was in 1986, and there are now more than 130 birds, af­ter a record breed­ing year in 2014. They nest in the north of the Tra­muntana Moun­tains, but also feed in places around the Bo­quer Val­ley. The best sites to look for them are at Mor­titx, the monastery at Lluc (where there’s a vis­i­tor cen­tre for the Tra­muntana), the Cu­ber Reser­voir, and Castell Del Rei, on the Ter­nelles es­tate, near Pol­lença.

WHERE ELSE CAN I SEE IT? Small num­bers in the Balkans and Asia Mi­nor, and also found in the Ex­tremadura re­gion of main­land Spain, but oth­er­wise you would be best to travel to cen­tral Asia. †Al­ways ap­pears dark – even the wings show only very sub­tle con­trasts

†Largest of its fam­ily in Europe, al­though some over­lap with larger in­di­vid­ual Grif­fon Vul­tures

†Found mainly in hilly, wooded or par­tial­ly­wooded ar­eas

†Soars in wide cir­cles on flat wings (Grif­fon Vul­tures soar on raised wings)

†Perches more hor­i­zon­tally and less up­right than Grif­fon Vul­tures

†Al­most silent, but dis­play flights in­clude pairs tum­bling with feet in­ter­locked

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