Gujarati Name : જટાયુ ગીધ

Scientific Name : Gypaetus barbatus

Red Data Status : Least Concern

Bird Category : Birds of Prey

Synonyms : Ossifrage, Bearded Vulture, Lammergeyer, West Asiatic Lammergeyer, Middle Asian Bearded Vulture, Bearded Griffon

Photographer : Dipak Vadher

Location : Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary , Junagadh

Date : 15 ,Jan 2019

Remark : On the morning of 15 January 2019, I visited the Ransivav area (21.50°N, 70.62°E), in the Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, near Junagadh, Gujarat. This region is located near the Girnar Hills and is a part of the sanctuary. I observed some birds of prey soaring on thermals late that morning. Among them I noticed a large bird soaring alongside an Oriental Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus. I took a few photographs of both the soaring birds. After coming home, I initially identified the other bird as an Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus and posted the photos on my Facebook page. Nirav Bhatt, who has studied birds of prey in Gujarat, replied that the mystery bird looked different and requested me to send all the photos I had taken in hi-resolution. After studying the images he confirmed that the bird was a juvenile or immature Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus, also known as Lammergeier. Though the bird was seen only in flight, it showed well all the identification features; the large size (when compared with the nearby Oriental Honey Buzzard), dark head and neck, pale creamy underparts, large wedge-shaped tail, pointed wings, and the typical ‘beard’ was seen below the beak in one of the images. The Egyptian Vulture, though similar in shape, is much smaller, with a smaller tail and lacks the ‘beard’. The large wedge-shaped tail eliminated other Gyps vultures and also Aquila eagles. The Bearded Vulture is resident in the Himalayas and in the mountains of Afghanistan and western Pakistan, with unpredictable local movements, and is a winter migrant to Sindh and Baluchistan in Pakistan (Grimmett et al. 2011; Rasmussen & Anderton 2012). While it is resident in the Himalayas in India, there are no records of it from anywhere else in the country. For Gujarat, a record of a Bearded Vulture was claimed from Vighakot, near the India-Pakistan border in the Greater Rann of Kachchh (Thakkar 2005). However, due to lack of photographs or a

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Wonderful record !!