Bearded vulture Adonis – a young male released in 2014 in the Massif Central-Grands Causses, as part of the reintroduction project there – now managed under the LIFE GYPCONNECT project, has been delighting Romanians birders and conservationists with his long staying in the country.
After a long tour in Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Romania this summer, Adonis then moved back to the Slovak Tatras, and from there flew over Hungary and reached Romania again, where it has been staying in the westernmost Carpathians, not very far away from Serbia and Bulgaria (see map).
He became quite popular in the country, so much so that a craft beer factory named Zaganu (the Romanian name for bearded vulture) has produced a limited edition that was named Adonis to celebrate it!
Last year Adonis had already wandered in Europe – in June 2015 he left the Causses and flew across France and Belgium to north Germany (as far north as Hamburg), but then returned south and arrived back to the Alps. Its GPS tag then stopped working for several weeks (probably because of a faulty charger), but he was observed once in Switzerland, identified through his markings. Finally, the tag restarted transmitting data in late September, and this showed that Adonis was back to the French Alps, after spending at least two months in the Swiss mountains.
Then, last June he decided to leave again – from the Alps he passed through the Tatras mountains, and then onwards to plains of Poland and Belarus before returning south to the Carpathians and then non to the Tatras (see map)
Flying great distances and exploring new areas is normal for young bearded vultures. To fly all the way to the north is not that common, but it happens every now and then, usually in Spring. This summer bearded vultures have already been seen in Belgium, the UK, Denmark, and Germany.
The normal home of bearded vultures are the mountainous regions of Europe, Asia and Africa. There they find the perfect conditions for flying, steep walls for breeding & open landscape to search for bones to feed on.
The VCF would like to thank the dozens of people across eastern Europe who have gone out of their way to try to check for Adonis, and in particular Sebastian Bugariu from the Romanian Ornithological Society that has kep an eye for this bird - a great example of selfless European cooperation!
Cheers for Adonis!