Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

Giant bone-eating vulture stuns motorists after landing in the middle of road

A giant bone-eating vulture with an 8ft wingspan left motorists stunned after landing on a busy UK road.

The bird, which has been dubbed "Vigo" is considered a rare sighting in Britain, however was snapped holding up traffic.

Also known as a Lammergeier, or Bearded vulture – it was spotted up near Peterborough on Saturday, shocking drivers.

The sighting comes after the bird was first seen and pictured in 2016 over Dartmoor in Devon.

It is normally found in Alpine regions, but it is believed to have spent the summer roosting in the Peak District, sparking a spate of sighting.

Experts believe the bearded vulture flew over from the Alps, having being part of a population that was released into the wild there.

They also believe the bird had encountered bad weather above other countries so fled to the UK skies, or perhaps went on a trip away from its home in the Alpine region.

It is thought to have flown over the English Channel at the end of June from central Europe, where there are only 600 to 1,000 pairs in an area stretching from Spain to Russia.

The vultures can also be found in the Caucasus between the Black and Caspian seas, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Tibet.

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The birds, which normally live and breed on crags in high mountains, feed mainly on bones from the carcasses of large herbivores like sheep.

Their distinguishing feature is their feathered neck, while this type of bird tends to hatch two or three eggs in winter before they hatch in spring.

The bearded vulture is categorised as 'near threatened', according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

They get their name from a distinctive tuft of feathers under their lower beak.

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