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Griffon Vultures started Nesting in the middle of winter in the Eastern Rhodopes

Although, the weather is still cold the first pairs of Griffon vultures recently started nesting in the valley of Arda River. The Griffon’s breeding season starts very early in the year because it takes a long time for young vultures to grow up, become self-supporting and get ready for the next winter. When the young hatch after two months of breeding it is early spring. The melting snow  reveals lots of animal carcasses and the vulture parents may better feed their little.

Griffon Vultures were numerous in Bulgaria until the end of the 19th  century. Then the vulture population rapidly declined because of poisoning. Vultures happened to be victim of wolf culling programs.. Griffon Vultures completely disappeared from Bulgaria in the 60s and 70s of the last century. In 1978, one nesting pair with a group of young birds was found in the Eastern Rhodopes. In the 90s,  the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds launched a serious program for its conservation in Bulgaria. Nowadays, the population is recovering and there are again more than 60 nesting pairs! They breed on clifs  in the valley of Arda River – from Madzharovo to Kardzhali.

Griffon Vulture is one of the a major attractions for photographers and bird fans. Every year thousands of foreign tourists visit the Eastern Rhodopes to observe and photograph vultures on feeding sites near to the town of Madzharovo and Studen Kladenets.

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