(Eurasian) Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) Grifo-comum

The Iberian Peninsula is a stronghold of the Griffon Vulture and Portugal can boast that it's as easy to see this species here as anywhere else in the world. We quite often find kettles of them anywhere between 20 and 200 strong when we're out on the Plains of the Alentejo. Seeing them warming their wings in the early morning sun prior to taking to the skies is a never-to-be-forgotten-sight, but it requires an early start and a good guide if you're to stand the chance of witnessing it.

These birds would be a great deal more common in Portugal if the Portuguese Government would refrain from following a 2001 EU directive aimed at curbing the spread of Mad Cow disease. Spain no longer follows this directive and the vultures are increasingly staying in that country where dead cattle are left in the fields rather than being immediately buried or incinreated as is the case in Portugal which stubbornly follows the directive. There is a full description of this problem here with maps showing in great clarity the results of the two governments differing implementation of the directive.


Birding in Portugal

Quinta do Barranco da Estrada
7665-880 Santa Clara a Velha

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Phone : (+351) 283 933 065
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