The migration routes of the juvenile Egyptian vultures

Egyptian Vulture / ph. Y. Hristov

During the summer nine Egyptian Vultures were tagged with satellite transmitters in Bulgaria and Greece under the project "The Return of the Neophron". The advanced technology gives us the unique opportunity to trace the migration routes and to find the wintering places of this endangered species. The young Egyptian vultures Svetlina, Arda, Ilyaz, Dobri, Volen, Ikaros, Lefkipos and Odysseus were ready to embark on the greatest adventure of their lifes - the first migration. A risky trip over three continents, above land and water, high mountains and endless sands to reach the "winter quarters" in Central Africa. Let's see what is happening with them.
Ikaros - the "Greek" Egyptian vulture, was the first who flew off  to South. He flew over Athens, crossed the Peloponnese and reached the Southern coast of Greece - Crete. But then he made a wrong choice and tried to fly more than 300 km above the sea to the Egyptian coast. Unfortunately when the night fell he was in the middle of this epic journey. Exhausted, Ikaros perched on a ship and stayed there for 6 days. His last coordinates are 70 km from the coast and its fate for the moment remains unknown.
Very different migration strategy chose the adult vulture Lazaros. His journey began in central Greece, he flew over the Dardanelles and across Turkey and then headed South across the Middle East. On the 10th of September he entered in Africa and a few hours later - crossed the River Nile. He faced the biggest challenge - the Sahara Desert. Over the burning sands flew only two days and entered Chad. Lazaros flew more than 4 000 kilometers in just 14 days, arriving in his winter quarters in Central Africa.
The juvenile Egyptian vulture Odysseus was found dead a week after it was released on the feeding station in Dadia National Park / Greece. We are still seeking the causes of its death. His story can be read here.
Arda is a juvenile Egyptian vulture, hatched near the town of Madjarovo. She was the first Bulgarian vulture that left the country. After a short trip in Turkey and Greece Arda came back near the nest and fed heavily in rigorous preparation for the real migration. On the 21th of September she said her parents goodbye and headed South. Yesterday she had reached Central Turkey.
Although hatched in different parts of the country - Dobri - in North Bulgaria and Svetlina - in the Eastern Rhodopes, they had a similar migration routes. Dobri chose the largest migration route in eastern Europe - Via Pontica, then crossed the Dardanelles and visited some of the most famous seaside resorts in Turkey - Kusadasi, Marmaris and Antalya.
Just a few days after Dobri, Svetlina also flew over Dardanelles. Near the Syrian border the two juveniles almost met. Now Svetlina is located in Central Jordan and Dobri reached Sinai.

Volen is the juvenile Egyptian vulture which hatched in the nest under video surveillance. We saw him growing and now we have the opportunity to follow his first migration. He also took the Via Pontica, but flew over the Bosphorus. After flying over Turkey, he reached the Middle East, and on the 19th of September flew over the Suez Canal into Africa. That night he stayed near Nile and early on the next morning rushed off to Sahara. In the last two days he is in a small region in Western Sudan.
Ilyaz was one of the last vltures which left the country. He left the nest with his parents hopping that they will show him the fastest and safest route to winter quarters in Africa. On the 20th of September he rosted on a hill near the center of Istanbul. Early on the next day Ilyaz went south and only for two days reached Southern Turkey.
Lefkipos - the juvenile Egyptian vulture which was tagged in Dadia National Forest Park flew over the Bosphorus and more than a week remained near a small town in Northern Turkey. There is a rubbish dump, which is known to be an important site for Pre-migratory congregation of Egyptian vultures. He found his fellows, and plenty of food there. Soon he, like all other Egyptian vultures will continue its journey South. And the only goal is to reach Africa.

We wish them tailwind and safe journey!

Lazaros' migration route
Dobri's migration route
Useful information
Where is B14?

Where is B14?

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe