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December 19, 2012

Samara Private Game Reserve – Cape Vulture Sighting

Guests at Samara spotted a Cape Vulture resting on power lines on Saturday and ironically, gazing at Aasvoelberg which translated in to English means, Vulture’s Mountain. This is only the third time that one has been spotted on Samara in almost 15 years. We are hoping that this is a good omen and the bird will be making its home on Samara.

The Cape Vulture is virtually endemic to South Africa with about 90% of the population occurring within the country, consisting of approximately 2400 breeding pairs. It is listed as Vulnerable in the South African Red Data Book of Birds and the population is declining. The majority of the birds occur in colonies in the northern parts of South Africa with one or two big colonies in the Eastern Cape.
Click HERE for more information on the TUSK Cape Vulture project.

The Cape Griffon or Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres), also known as Kolbe’s Vulture, is an Old World Vulture in the family Accipitridaw, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks. It nests on cliffs and lays one egg per year. This large vulture is dark brown except for the pale wing coverts. The adult is paler than the juvenile, and the wingspan is 2.26–2.6 m (7.4–8.5 ft) with a body weight of 7–11 kg (15–24 lb). They are on average the largest raptor in Africa. The Cape vulture is the third largest Old World Vulture. The two prominent bare skin patches at the base of the neck are thought to be temperature sensors and used for detecting the presence of thermals.

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