Berchtesgaden: Bavaria has left the national park

“In the past few weeks we have had to answer joking questions from vulture fans more and more often as to whether we would feed Wally and Bavaria too well,” reports Toni Wegscheider with a smile. The fact that both vultures stayed for more than three months in the wider area of ​​the reintroduction niche at the Reiteralm after their first flight was rather unusual after the experience of the Europe-wide project. “Despite many day trips to the surrounding mountain ranges such as Steinernes Meer, Untersberg and Leoganger Steinberge, the two Geiermädls returned to the feeding and sleeping places near the niche in the Klausbachtal almost every evening,” explains National Park project manager Ulrich Brendel. While young bearded vultures in extreme cases roam widely already a week after their first flight, the two Bavarian birds have given themselves significantly more time. But now at least Bavaria has set out on its first long flight eastwards and after three days was already 230 kilometers as the crow flies on the Rax mountain range in eastern Austria. “A short time later, Wally apparently made an attempt to follow her, but already a few kilometers outside of her familiar terrain she apparently lost her courage and she turned back into the national park at home,” said Toni Wegscheider.

But even at Wally, all the experts involved assume that she will soon leave the previous area. Young bearded vultures have an innate migratory instinct and in their first years of life explore thousands of square kilometers of mountains in search of food, their own territory or a future partner to reproduce. “Since around two thirds of all bearded vultures return to the region of origin after a few years of migration in order to settle there, we definitely have the hope that at least one of our vultures will be around the Königssee again in the future,” explains Ulrich Brendel. Due to the annual release of bearded vultures in the Berchtesgaden National Park planned until around 2030, potential male partners for the establishment of territories will gradually be found in the region.

After thousands of Bearded Vulture fans had observed the events in the release niche live via webcam in the past few months, the further life of the two birds in the coming months and years can also be followed on the Internet. By equipping the Bearded Vulture with GPS transmitters, the future flight routes of the birds are shown on a map on the LBV website www.lbv.de/bartgeier-auf-reisen shown. For the safety of the birds, the data is set with a three-day delay (this is common for all bearded vultures throughout Europe). This is to prevent the birds from being disturbed by onlookers, for example at their sleeping places.

During their future flights through the Bavarian and Austrian Alps, the two female bearded vultures will be easily recognizable with binoculars thanks to their clear, bright wing markings. »They can be easily distinguished: Wally with the double L in its name has its two different bleached areas in the same dark wing. Bavaria with the “V” in its name has, among other things, two bleached feathers in a brown-black pile, whose tail is shaped like the letter “V”, ”explains Toni Wegscheider. The LBV therefore calls on all hikers to report all sightings of bearded vultures online on the LBV’s website, if possible with a photo www.lbv.de/bartgeier-melden.

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