Ingenius: January - May 2010
When the, already 30 years old, female Bearded Vulture suddenly became unsettled and started to systematically chop up all the wood in her enclosure, the animal wardens at the Centre de Fauna Vallcalent took notice: this behaviour shows that an egg will soon be laid. Sure enough, early in the morning of the 12th January, a freshly laid egg lay in the nest! The animal wardens now needed to react quickly as the mother shows behaviour disturbances. She was raised by hand and not correctly for a Bearded Vulture, therefore, she destroys her own eggs.
The experienced animal wardens needed to make sure that the egg was given in time to more experienced Bearded Vultures, who could act as adoptive parents. However, it did not work without problems when the chick Ingenius hatched 8th March. Before the adoptive parents began to feed the the chick, the animal wardens had to feed him themselves for two days. After that, the adoptive parents took to their role with great responsibility: Ingenius has now grown to a weight of about 5kgs and is, thus, ready for his release into the wild.
The Centre de Fauna Vallcalent in Catalonia is an especially successful breeding station and has managed, in this year alone, to raise five young vultures.