Nest-building behaviour of the Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus

Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus) Science Article 3


Bearded Vultures Gypaetus barbatus began supplying material to their nests on average 111 d (range 91-126 d) prior to laying. Males were significantly more active that females. Heavy material (branches) was transported indistinctly in the talons or in the bill while lining (wool) was generally transported in the bill. 71% of the wool was recycled from remains fallen from other nests, probably due to the scarcity of this material in relation to its importance for insulating the egg and chick from the low winter temperatures. No inter-sexual differences were observed with regard to the type of the material selected or how it was carried to the nest. The early nest-building behaviour and the fact that the males were the most active builders are discussed in the context of maintenance of the pair-bond and female selection. After laying, material for nest-maintenance was only rarely supplied, suggesting high solidity of the structure at its location at protected sites

Margalida A. & Bertran J., ARDEA 88 (2): 259-264

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