Bearded Vulture

The bearded vulture’s breeding success is influenced by human activity and kleptoparasitism by common ravens, golden eagles, griffon vultures, and even other bearded vultures.

Breeding success of the bearded vulture may be influenced by interactions between heterospecifics.

The technique of feeding and conspicuous nesting sites of bearded vultures make chicks vulnerable to kleptoparasitism. Because bearded vultures store their food in a visible and predictable manner in nests, perching sites, and ossuaries, they have aggressive interactions with common ravens, golden eagles, griffon vultures, and other bearded vultures attempting to attack the nest in order to steal food. Aggressive interactions between bearded vultures and these species are common in nesting sectors shared by the species.

Bearded vultures must actively defend their nests from this kleptoparasitism, resulting in a negative energy cost and less energy to dedicate to young. Relocating nests to avoid attacks could lead to nesting at altitudes or locations with poor weather conditions, or in closer proximity to humans.

Sources: (Bertran & Margalida, 2004; Margalida & Bertran, 2005; Margalida, Heredia, Razin, & Hernandez, 2008; Tenenzapf, 2011)
Image: Fulvio Spada


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