After Regina, and then Lom – two of the three captive bred Egyptian Vultures released this year in Bulgaria –perished in the Med when crossing from Cyprus to the Middle East, our eyes turned to Elodie – the last remaining juvenile. We knew already that about 70% of all tagged wild nestlings from the Balkans ended up drowning in the Med in their first migratory journey, but we hoping for a success. Elodie – born in Paris zoo from western European ancestors – was the youngest of the three young released, so she decided to stay around the release site for a full month, with daily visits to the nearby supplementary feeding point.
Then on the 26th of September she started to migrate. Unlike Regina and Lom (with Turkish ancestors), Elodie flew southwest (probably due to her Western European origin?). On the first day of migration she flew 85 km and roosted on a hill in Elena Forebalkan. Next day Elodie continued over Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Kurdjali and entered Greece trough Komotini area. She spent the second night near the Burugyol lagoon in an agricultural field. On 28th September at 14:00 Elodie reached the tip of Athos flying over the sea (110 km) and, obviously tired, spent the night there. The next day Elodie continued to fly over the sea (100 km) and reached the Greek island Alonnisos, then reaching the Peloponnese. It was obvious that Elodie would try to fly south, an extremely challenging migration route involving a 400km+ sea cross.
Fortunately she made it. One morning she left Kythira island (Greece) at 08am and flew 480 km straight over the sea for 12 hours, landing in the northeastern coast of Libya at 20:00 – you can see follow trip here http://www.lifeneophron.eu/bg/map/27.html