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The Griffon Vultures kept at the Wildlife Rescue Centre already laid an egg!

The Griffon Vultures kept at the Wildlife Rescue Centre already laid an egg!

20.01.2015
The camera, set up in the aviary allowed us to see the exact moment of laying - the afternoon of January 19th 2015. The pair is very cautious and we only manage to get a glimpse of the egg when the two birds are taking shifts or the female is standing up to turn its position.

The first-born son of Leshka - Purvolet, which hatched in April 2014, has just left his home - the Wildlife Rescue Centre at Green Balkans - Stara Zagora. He was sent to the vulture adaptation aviary, maintained within the Vultures Return in Bulgaria in Sliven and will be released later this year.

The two adult  Griffons are among the long-term patients and favourites of the Centre. Leshka (the female) arrived in 2000 with a serious leg fracture. She was the first bird in Bulgaria to undergo an osteosynthesis - a surgery to fix the broken bone with a special pin. Unfortunately, even though the wound healed well, one of Leshka’s feet remained shorter than the other. Furthermore, she got too used to people during the rehabilitation process so the staff of Green Balkans decided to keep her in captivity.

In 2006, despite being alone, Leshka laid her first egg, pleasantly surprising both herself and our team. As soon as 2007, thanks to our colleagues from the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna and the Sofia Zoo we found a mate for Leshka. Four years in a row the family laid a fertile egg which unfortunately never managed to hatch. We blame the lack of experience of the young mother, as well as the fact that due to her short leg, she broke the egg several times while caring for it.


Griffon Vultures in nature lay a single egg, incubated by both parents for 48-54 days. Unlike other birds, vultures start their breeding season quite early - during winter, so their chicks hatch in early spring, when mammals give birth. In nature this is the time when more animals die - both mothers and babies, so the young vultures receive enough food.

Once again, we are very hopeful for our Griffon family and we are wish for them to finally raise their very first young!

For more information, please contact:
Elena Kmetova
Project manager of the Vultures Return in Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 885 219 557; ekmetova@greenbalkans.org