Ready for Take Off

A vulture ready for take-off; (cc) by-nc squics.com

A vulture ready for take-off; (cc) by-nc squics.com

Getting so close to those impressive birds during a photo workshop was an incredible experience; even though I got unexpectedly close to this Griffon Vulture.

Those big Griffon Vultures weigh up to seven kilos and grow to a total length of 48 inches and a wingspan of up to 9 ft. I was surprised to hear that Griffon Vultures can’t takeoff from the ground because of their weight. They have to plunge from a higher point.

A bit later I experienced it with my own eyes. The wind eased, and the vulture had to land. It tried to fly away but couldn’t. For the next few minutes, it just sat there and nagged like crazy. Poor bird. A Falconer helped it to get airborne again.