A young bearded vulture with plumage typical of a second calendar year (born last year) was seen in Poland last June, in the Pieniny Mountains (Krościenko nad Dunajcem, see map). The bird had no bleached feathers (see photo), and at the time none of the young released last year in our reintroduction projects (and that are all tagged) was there, so it is likely that this bird was wild born, probably in the Alps.
It is not the first time that bearded vultures occur in Poland – a few vagrants have been spotted there in the last few years, no doubt a result of the growing wild population in the Alps – this year totaling 45 pairs.
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.
Photo Michal Lempa