Absent vultures

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We overnighted in a hotel for a change just outside the park so that I could do an early dawn raid of sketching while the wildlife were active.  Unfortunately the gate to the hotel was locked so I had to sit there and wait till 9am.  There was no sign of the rutting Red Deer stag we had watched last night but I did manage to find this trio of young Griffons enjoying the morning sun on a treetop near the river.  It was a great composition and I pencilled in the outlines before settling to study the middle bird.  So full of character they are.  Then the two flankers did what birds do they flew away!  So it wasn’t my lucky day and a work in progress but I enjoyed watching these youngsters up to mischief starting their day.  I got the impression these young vultures have a lot to learn.  They are intelligent birds and they must spend a long period of learning in these small kindergarten groups while the parents forage out hundreds of kilometres from the colony and bring back the ‘spicey’ meals in their crops.  Apparently vultures have the most acidic stomachs and their own antibiotics in their saliva to deal with pathogens and bacteria in their diet.  Lose the vultures as we have witnessed in India and the human health cost from pathogens such as rabies and anthrax unchecked can be astronomic and for India ran into billions of dollars over a decade.

Additional information

Weight0.05 kg
Dimensions42 × 14.8 cm

Fine Art Print, Original Artwork

Rob Davies

Rob studied art at school to A level and has kept the interest in painting going alongside a career in biology and conservation.  Although he prefers to sketch and paint from life in the field, Rob has been commissioned to do exact bird illustrations for various publications including journals, a monograph on the Black Eagle and a field guide to African birds of prey.

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