Skip to main content

Griffon Vulture 'Harry' crosses the Strait

04 December 2017

'Harry', one of the Griffon Vultures that was rescued from the sea in May and was tagged and fitted with a GPS tracker as part of VULTURE TRACK, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar yesterday.

'Vulture Track' is a research project led by the Government of Gibraltar's Department of the Environment together with the GONHS Raptor Rescue Unit and aims to provide useful information on the wintering grounds of migrating Griffon Vultures in Africa as well as the movements and foraging patterns of the birds in their breeding grounds in Europe. 

'Harry', as he later become know, and another Griffon Vulture were released back into the wild on the 5th June, following a period of rehabilitation with the GONHS Raptor Unit at the Raptor Rehabilitation Centre.  The birds had been rescued from the sea after being brought down by Yellow-legged Gulls. Harry had been fitted with a blue wing tag (KX) and a solar-powered GPS tracker which is allowing us to receive regular updates on his position.

Harry made the journey from Grazalema to Bolonia back in mid November and had remained in the area until his crossing.  The bird had tried to make a number of crossing attempts during that period but conditions must not have been favourable for him until now.


The bird is now migrating south through Morocco having spent the Summer and Autumn in Spain. Harry successfully made it across the Strait, crossing by the area of Tarifa as can be seen in the picture below.


Harry's journey across the Strait


Footage of the initial release can be viewed online

Griffon Vulture 'Harry' KX
Griffon Vulture 'Harry' KX
Griffon Vulture 'Harry' KX
Griffon Vulture 'Harry' KX
Harry's Release GONHS & DECC
From left to right: Gilbert Gonzalez & Vincent Robba (GONHS Raptor Unit) with Stephen Warr (Dept. of the Environment & Climate Change) and Albert Yome (GONHS).