Fledglings are now leaving nests.
It is that time of the year where vulture fledglings leave their nests to take flight and this means there are increased chances that they may be injured or become grounded.
Vultures breed during the winter months and incubation is between 54 to 56 days. Nestling remains with its parents for almost 5 months. Once the nestlings reach fledgling age, they begin to explore and move around on the cliff faces and eventually, take their maiden flight which can take place anytime from mid-October through to January each year.
“Once these fledglings begin to fly and explore their surrounds in the hope of foraging on their own, they often get into ‘tricky’ situations and find themselves in dangerous areas or areas where they cannot take flight again,” says Kerri Wolter, founder and CEO of VulPro. This is due to a reduction in open natural spaces below the Magaliesberg Mountain and the surrounding Hartbeespoort Dam. “Cape Vultures are large-bodied birds that need open areas to run and take off. Protecting each individual is vital to the species continued survival and thus, we need to keep abreast of all vulture happenings throughout their home and foraging ranges,” Wolter says.
VulPro is once again appealing to the public to please keep a watchful eye for any grounded vultures and contact them immediately. “Please also remain with the bird until we get there as a grounded bird, even a bird with a broken wing, can walk away and disappear, never to be found again.”
Residents are requested to be on the lookout for possible grounded vultures and to immediately contact Vulpro for assistance at any time of the day. Contact 082 808 5113.