In good weather, it is almost impossible not to see vultures flying in the sky. Take a walk near Point Sublime or from the first belvedaries of the Crete Route. Look up, they’re here! Having disappeared in the 19th century in the Verdon, it is the association Vautours in Haute Provence which launched in 1993 a project of re-introduction of the griffon vultures by installing several of them in an aviary above the village of Rougon.
It has a wingspan that goes from 240 cm to 280 cm for a length of 95 to 105 cm. With long wings and a small whitish head. It is the first vulture to use on carrion. It feeds on soft pulpits (muscles and viscera). This vulture has a long blow which allows it to penetrate inside the carcasses. The latter is covered with down. In fact, dried blood is better cleaned on this support than on feathers or bare skin. The first griffon vultures were released on October 16, 1999. Between 1999 and 2005, 99 griffon vultures were released from aviaries in Rougon.
The re-introduction program saw an evolution from 2005 with the arrival of the Monk vultures. Eleven specimens were released. They fly from the Mercantour to the Barronies, nevertheless, a couple now reproduces in the Verdon. With a wingspan of 250 to 295 cm for a length of 100 to 110 cm, it is the largest of the European raptors. The young have black plumage while the adults have brown plumage. Its head has a powerful beak which allows it to take an interest in harder chairs such as tendons, skin, ligaments, cartilage …
Also called “Egyptian vulture“, it is a migratory raptor. It has not been re-introduced in the Verdon but it benefits from some mass graves in the region. This vulture feeds mainly on dead animals but is also known to eat eggs which it breaks with stones. It has a wingspan of 165 to 170 cm and a length of 56 to 75 cm. It has long, rectangular wings and a narrow head. The plumage of the young is chocolate brown while that of the adults is white and black.
It is a bone crusher that throws them from great heights before going to feed on the ground. Being able to reach 275 cm in wingspan, this vulture is rarely observed in the Verdon. It is found rather in the Upper Ubaye valley or in the Mercantour National Park.