Bearded Vulture Visits England’s Oldest National Park

Bearded Vulture Visits England’s Oldest National Park

The only other British sighting of a Bearded Vulture occurred back in 2016 in Monmouthshire.2

This bird of prey has a commanding presence—it’s huge and hairy-looking! The bearded vulture is large: 3-4 feet long with a wingspan of 7-9 feet. It can weigh 10-17 pounds, with females being slightly larger than males. Unlike other vultures, the bearded vulture is not “bald-headed.” In fact, bristles under its chin look like a raggedly “beard,” hence the bird’s name.3

Birdwatchers have flocked to the moors to see the bearded vulture, which has only been seen once before in the UK, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said. But the trust’s Tim Birch said it “couldn’t have come to a worse spot in terms of bird of prey persecution”. … Mr Birch said as it was coming up to grouse shooting season, there were fears the rare raptor could be intentionally poisoned or shot. … However Richard Bailey, gamekeeper and co-ordinator of the Peak District Moorland Group, said “suggestions that this vulture is at risk from attack by gamekeepers” were wrong.1

Admittedly, the bearded vulture has a rough, if not thuggish, reputation. In Germany it is called lammergeier, meaning “lamb-hawk,” due to its habit of preying on lambs—not a positive reputation in agricultural communities. Also called “ossifrage” (meaning bone-breaker), about 80% of the bearded vulture’s diet is animal bone marrow, mostly from mammal bones, but also from bird bones.3,4

[Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s] Birch said the bearded vulture fed mainly on bones from carcasses, very rarely on live prey, and could swallow bones whole, which were dissolved in its stomach.1

Although scavenging can provide needed food, especially during the breeding season, these vultures often attack live prey, such as hares, rock hyraxes, marmots, and even monitor lizards. More so than predatory hawks or eagles, bearded vultures often attack larger mammals, such as sheep or goats, which are dropped from heights onto rocky surfaces to break their bones. Bearded vultures also grab turtles and drop them from heights to crack open their shells.3,5

Meanwhile, to say this mountain-dwelling bird is rare—only the second time ever observed in Great Britain—is an understatement.

Birdwatcher Indy Kiemel Greene, 15, who photographed the bearded vulture on Sunday, shared the trust’s fears for its safety. He said: “Unfortunately this bird is at great risk because the location that it’s at in the Derbyshire Peaks is well-known for raptor persecution….”1

Its preferred habitat is a high-altitude mix of rocky crags, cliffs, canyons, and montane gorges. So what is it now doing in England’s Peak District anyway?

[Tim Birch] said it was thought the raptor had come from the French or Swiss Alps, where the endangered species is being reintroduced. About 500 birdwatchers have come to catch a glimpse of the bird from all over the UK, as well as France, Spain and the Netherlands. … It is thought the bird could stay in the area for a couple of weeks if it has found food before eventually returning to the Alps.1

For birdwatchers (and videographers) who can visit the Peak District National Park, this could be the opportunity of a lifetime. But if you visit the park with a pet poodle, keep your pet leashed and very close to you. No need to take a chance.

References
1. Burman, H. Fears for Bearded Vulture Spotted in the Peak DistrictBBC News. Posted on bbc.com July 14, 2020, accessed July 16, 2020.
2. Staff writer. Bearded Vulture Spotted Near Severn BridgeBBC News. Posted on bbc.com May 17, 2016, accessed July 16, 2020.
3. Jonsson, L. 1993. Birds of Europe, with North Africa and the Middle East. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (transl. by David Christie), page 124. See also Clark, W. S. 1999. A Field Guide to the Raptors of Europe, the Middle east, and North Africa. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Pres, pages 56-60 & 302-303, plus Plate 12.
4. Obviously, bearded vultures are not the only predators adept at cracking and crushing bones of their prey—lions have earned a similar reputation (Daniel 6:24).
5. Other large-winged birds of prey are noted for dropping their victims in order to prepare them for ingestion. For example, near Jerusalem, eagles soar while scouting for mammals or reptiles; these same eagles are known to snatch tortoises, and to “kill [them] by dropping and smashing [the tortoises] on rocks from high in the air” (Quoting Noel and Helen Snyder. 1991. Birds of Prey. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, 164).

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.

JAMES J. S. JOHNSON, J.D., TH.D. *  |

[Re-posted from ICR article at https://www.icr.org/article/bearded-vulture-visit-england-oldest-national-park ]

Reposted here with Dr. Jim’s permission and at his request. (Lee)

 

See Also:

James J. S. Johnson’s other articles here

Birds of the Bible – Name Study ~ Ossifrage

Birds of the Bible – Gathering of Vultures or Eagles

Anniversary Number 12

Hooded Merganser Diving Duck, Georgia, by William Wise

Here we go again with another anniversary of the blog. Around February 13th or so, was the 12 anniversary of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. During this year, we hit the two million visitor mark. Wow!

Eastern Phoebe on Beautyberry

Eastern Phoebe on Beautyberry 12-19-19

Looking at all the articles written about the 11th anniversary, I’ll let this one be simple. I just reread all the comments and encouragement that you sent last year. Those were and are again so appreciated. Now, the blog has slowed down some, but we are still blogging. Because of health and our new house, most of my birding adventures seem to be out my back door. I love the avian visitors!

This year, William Wise has joined us with some very interesting articles and photos. Welcome Aboard, William!! Dr. Jim has continued to contribute articles, which are always enjoyable. Ian Montgomery is still sending posts, and Emma Forster continues to enlighten us with her stories. Me, I’ve written less, but we are still at it.

Raven in Pumpkin by Linda Marcille

The Lord is always faithful and keeps us interested in His Creation.

Stay tuned to see what this new year of blogging will discover about our Avian Wonders from the Lord.

(9)  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
(10)  And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago;
(11)  but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.
(12)  For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. (2 Corinthians 8:9-12 NKJV)

Wow!! Two Million And Counting!!

Snowy Egret Viera Wetlands – 12-31-2018 by Lee

“Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Your name.” (Psalms 18:49 NASB)

Thank You!!, Thank You!! again for all visits and views of this blog. Last night (Oct 31, 2019) sometime the counter flipped over the Two Million mark on the visitor counter on the left side of the blog.

2 Million Views

2 Million Views

Here’s a closer view:

Close-up of Two Million Views

Close-up of Two Million Views

On October 20th in 2013, we hit the One Million Mark. See:

Thank You – One Million And Counting!

Now, here we are just a tad over 6 years to the two million mark. Who ever thought that we would still be blogging after all these years. We have now been using WordPress for over 11 years, and the blog is almost 12 years old. It was begun in February 2008, but when it was moved to WordPress the counter was reset.

I am so thankful to the Lord for letting this blog be used to present His beautifully Created birds. Also, without you readers, it would not have been successful. Thank You for every visit, pages viewed, and the many comments. Those comments have come many times when I was thinking of quitting and giving up. But, just when I needed a little extra encouragement, along came a comment that was perfectly timed to keep me going.

Red-crested Turaco at Brevard Zoo by Lee

After these many years, we have met so many people from around the world, and many have become personal friends. [At least I consider you personal friends.]

Also, those that write for the blog have made great contributions: James J.S. Johnson. or Dr. Jim, as I call him; Emma Foster and her Emma’s Stories, have been two of the newest writers used during this six year span. Also, Golden Eagle drops by occasionally. Our Ian Montgomery has provide numerous post from his birding adventures.

“God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:21-22 NASB)

Thank you, Lord, for giving us so many birds to learn and write about. Thank you, readers, for every visit to this blog. I trust that the Lord will allow me the wisdom, strength, and curiosity about the Avian Wonders from His Hand to keep writing about them.

Stay Tuned!

Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton, by Lee [Dr. J.J.S. Johnson, Baron, and Dan]

Does Global Warming Threaten Bird Habitats?

Tricolored Heron by Dan

Does Global Warming Threaten Bird Habitats?

Written by Dr. James J. S. Johnson in the latest Acts And Facts about birds, especially the Tricolored Heron, being affected by the threats of global warming.

“If you love birds, should you fight petroleum production in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? How you answer depends on whether you believe man-made global warming is threatening Earth’s climate. That crisis scenario is actually based on evolutionary old-earth assumptions,1 and constant media stories feed the fear.

An amateur naturalist recently sounded the global-warming alarm over tricolored herons expanding their range. He reported that about three-quarters of the population lived in Louisiana in 1976, but now many are relocating northward up the Atlantic coast.2 He had little trouble identifying the culprits:

Isolated islands, prime breeding grounds safe from land-based predators, are being lost everywhere to rising sea levels and devastating storms. The tricolor I was watching was apparently trying to adapt to a rapidly warming planet. It had arrived earlier and farther north than its ancestors ever did [sic].…Birds everywhere are being threatened by the climate crisis. The fossil fuel lobby and its enablers in Washington, DC, are handing tricolors and thousands of other species a life-threatening legacy.2

But wait! Are the fossil fuel lobby and the politically powerful petroleum industry really villains that are forcing the poor tricolored herons to migrate—in temperature-troubled desperation—to a Virginia wildlife refuge “farther north” than their ancestors had ever been? No, because the same writer admitted that earlier heron generations had populated eastern America outside of Louisiana….

Does Global Warming Threaten Bird Habitats?

 

Eleventh Anniversary of Blogging About Birds – Part III

Firey-throated and Volcano Hummingbird ©Raymond Barlow

I trust the last two posts have been informative and a blessing. Eleventh Anniversary and Eleventh Anniversary II. It still amazes me how the Lord would choose to use us in even a small way. If you have followed Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures very long, you know I believe that all these beautiful birds are a gift from the Lord’s Creative hand. They did not evolve from some blob or a dinosaur. The Bible has given us too many proofs of this, unless you have chosen not to believe His Word. I have no problem believing the following verses:

“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:21-23 KJV)

Watching Birds at MacDill AFB Shore

Nor believing that Adam named those first critters, including the birds:

“Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:19-20 NKJV)

Of course today, the I.O.C. gets together with many ornithologist from around the world to name birds. Adam didn’t need a committee at that time. He was the only human present. Eve came after the naming. [They, IOC, have increased their numbers by over 400 newly named birds since the Birds of the World section was added.]

Black-capped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor atricapillus) by Dario Sanches

Black-capped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor atricapillus) by Dario Sanches

Back to the reviewing of the past eleven years. From the beginning, the Lord’s Word about the birds has been the main part as I tried to find the various birds mentioned in the Bible. From there is has grown in various ways, but always, God’s Words are mentioned. Almost all of our writers, that thankfully add to this blog, believe that these fantastic birds are from God’s Hand.

The Seventh Anniversary in 2015 revealed that there had been 1.3 million visits and there were over 1,100 followers. Wow! By then Golden Eagle, Dr. James J. S. Johnson and Emma Foster were writing articles. Enough to have their own page in the menu [left side].

Must have skipped the 8th and 9th anniversaries, but much was going on. The Birds of the Bible for Kids blog was being re-fired up and most of the articles were move back over to there.

Dust Storm in Texas in 1935 ©WikiC

The Tenth anniversary had me Really Kicking Up A Dust Storm, sometime during those years, somehow, this site was hacked. Many of the photos used in post were GONE. The “pipe dream” of having a photo of every bird in the world blew up. This really involved much work to fix all the broken links that caused. Now in the Birds of the World, the list of the birds are there, but with some photos at the end of the page. [This was the only way to fix hundreds of broken links.]

If you have a blog or are thinking about starting one, they are enjoyable, but there can be issues that can “spoil the vines. “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” (Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV) Do we throw in the towel, or do we continue? So far, we have continued. Else we wouldn’t be celebrating 11 years of blogging.

Hummingbird at Trumpet Vine ©Harold A Davis

The Lord has been very gracious. We have made many friends over the years because of this blog. I feel like I know some of you personally, even though we probably won’t meet until we arrive in heaven. Thanks for all the friendships that have developed over these many years. The Lord truly has been blessing.

Tomorrow, I hope to add at least one more post to this anniversary remembrances.

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

 

 

Many Thanks!

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©Brindusa Art

As many of the readers of this blog know, I had back surgery on August 3rd. Before I mention the results of the surgery, I want to give some thanks.

#1  I want to thank the Lord for His Watching over all that has happened during this. Thanks and praise to a wonderful Savior who cares so much about us.

“O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” (Psalms 105:1 KJV)

#2  I want to thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes. Also, for continuing to keep up with the blog. I cannot thank you enough for that. Thank you.

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: ” (1 Peter 3:12a KJV)

American Oystercatchers (American Bird Conservancy photo)

#3  I want to especially thank Dr. James J. S. Johnson, who has been practically carrying on this blog, by providing almost an article a day. The articles have been very interesting and entertaining, as I detect by the remarks that have been posted. He posts occasional posts here, but Dr. Jim, as I call him, has written the last 11 posts. Thank you, Dr. Jim.

“We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.” (3 John 1:8 KJV)

My forty-five (45) minute surgery and an overnight stay in the hospital ended up being a two and a half hour surgery and five nights in the hospital. Then we I returned home on Tuesday (100 mile ride), I ended up in the Emergency Room the next day, here in town. It is taking me a while to get back up to strength.

I just found out yesterday why the longer surgery. While they were placing the wedge/cage by my vertebra, the vertebrae fractured due to soft bone. I started bleeding immediately and they had to stop to get that stopped. Then they had to figure out what to do with the vertebra. [How many times I have prayed for other’s surgeries that the Lord would guide their hands, and their thinking.] Thank you for praying.

As a result of that, I ended up with fluid in the sac by the lung. That had to be drained a few days after the surgery. I believe I am now on the mend. I am still weak and on medicine that has slowed me down from even thinking about blogging. See why I am so thankful for the last 11 articles by Dr. Johnson. Needless to say, I have not done any birdwatching. :)

SNOWY EGRET wading & shading (Mrs. Bursk Science Class blog)

Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts and prayers, and especially for the Lord who knew all about this before, during, and after the surgery, and never left me.

***

If you missed the latest 11 articles by Dr. Jim:

Shake a Leg (or 2 or 3 or 4), Crab-Eater! – Aug 7

Crazy as a Coot! – Aug 8

Pinyon Jay, Grand Canyon’s Forester – Aug 9

Killdeer atop Killdeer: Appreciating Help from Others – Aug 10

Loggerhead Shrike: Converting Thorns into Meat-hooks – Aug 11

Oystercatchers Must be Gentiles – Aug 12

Eggs Taste Better if Salted – Aug 13

Penguin Eggs Tragedy – Aug 14

Shades of Snowies – Aug 15

Peregrine Falcon – Proactive Hunter – Aug 16

Egret Feathers Worth More Than Gold – Aug 17

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