England’s Oldest National Park Visited by Bearded Vulture

Bearded Vulture Visits England’s Oldest National Park

The only other British sighting of a Bearded Vulture occurred back in 2016 in Monmouthshire.2

This bird of prey has a commanding presence—it’s huge and hairy-looking! The bearded vulture is large: 3-4 feet long with a wingspan of 7-9 feet. It can weigh 10-17 pounds, with females being slightly larger than males. Unlike other vultures, the bearded vulture is not “bald-headed.” In fact, bristles under its chin look like a raggedly “beard,” hence the bird’s name.3

Birdwatchers have flocked to the moors to see the bearded vulture, which has only been seen once before in the UK, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said. But the trust’s Tim Birch said it “couldn’t have come to a worse spot in terms of bird of prey persecution”. … Mr Birch said as it was coming up to grouse shooting season, there were fears the rare raptor could be intentionally poisoned or shot. … However Richard Bailey, gamekeeper and co-ordinator of the Peak District Moorland Group, said “suggestions that this vulture is at risk from attack by gamekeepers” were wrong.1

Admittedly, the bearded vulture has a rough, if not thuggish, reputation. In Germany it is called lammergeier, meaning “lamb-hawk,” due to its habit of preying on lambs—not a positive reputation in agricultural communities. Also called “ossifrage” (meaning bone-breaker), about 80% of the bearded vulture’s diet is animal bone marrow, mostly from mammal bones, but also from bird bones.3,4

[Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s] Birch said the bearded vulture fed mainly on bones from carcasses, very rarely on live prey, and could swallow bones whole, which were dissolved in its stomach.1

Although scavenging can provide needed food, especially during the breeding season, these vultures often attack live prey, such as hares, rock hyraxes, marmots, and even monitor lizards. More so than predatory hawks or eagles, bearded vultures often attack larger mammals, such as sheep or goats, which are dropped from heights onto rocky surfaces to break their bones. Bearded vultures also grab turtles and drop them from heights to crack open their shells.3,5

Meanwhile, to say this mountain-dwelling bird is rare—only the second time ever observed in Great Britain—is an understatement.

Birdwatcher Indy Kiemel Greene, 15, who photographed the bearded vulture on Sunday, shared the trust’s fears for its safety. He said: “Unfortunately this bird is at great risk because the location that it’s at in the Derbyshire Peaks is well-known for raptor persecution….”1

Its preferred habitat is a high-altitude mix of rocky crags, cliffs, canyons, and montane gorges. So what is it now doing in England’s Peak District anyway?

[Tim Birch] said it was thought the raptor had come from the French or Swiss Alps, where the endangered species is being reintroduced. About 500 birdwatchers have come to catch a glimpse of the bird from all over the UK, as well as France, Spain and the Netherlands. … It is thought the bird could stay in the area for a couple of weeks if it has found food before eventually returning to the Alps.1

For birdwatchers (and videographers) who can visit the Peak District National Park, this could be the opportunity of a lifetime. But if you visit the park with a pet poodle, keep your pet leashed and very close to you. No need to take a chance.

References
1. Burman, H. Fears for Bearded Vulture Spotted in the Peak DistrictBBC News. Posted on bbc.com July 14, 2020, accessed July 16, 2020.
2. Staff writer. Bearded Vulture Spotted Near Severn BridgeBBC News. Posted on bbc.com May 17, 2016, accessed July 16, 2020.
3. Jonsson, L. 1993. Birds of Europe, with North Africa and the Middle East. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (transl. by David Christie), page 124. See also Clark, W. S. 1999. A Field Guide to the Raptors of Europe, the Middle east, and North Africa. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Pres, pages 56-60 & 302-303, plus Plate 12.
4. Obviously, bearded vultures are not the only predators adept at cracking and crushing bones of their prey—lions have earned a similar reputation (Daniel 6:24).
5. Other large-winged birds of prey are noted for dropping their victims in order to prepare them for ingestion. For example, near Jerusalem, eagles soar while scouting for mammals or reptiles; these same eagles are known to snatch tortoises, and to “kill [them] by dropping and smashing [the tortoises] on rocks from high in the air” (Quoting Noel and Helen Snyder. 1991. Birds of Prey. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, 164).

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.

JAMES J. S. JOHNSON, J.D., TH.D. *  |

[Re-posted from ICR article at https://www.icr.org/article/bearded-vulture-visit-england-oldest-national-park ]

Reposted here with Dr. Jim’s permission and at his request. (Lee)

See Also:

James J. S. Johnson’s other articles here

Birds of the Bible – Name Study ~ Ossifrage

Birds of the Bible – Gathering of Vultures or Eagles

I.C.R.’s Days of Praise – Things Not Seen

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) by Reinier Munguia

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) by Reinier Munguia

Things Not Seen

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)

The little phrase “things not seen” is used three times in the New Testament, and interestingly enough, these refer to the past, present, and future works of God with respect to the things that are seen.

At the beginning of the “faith chapter” of Hebrews occur these remarkable words: “Now faith is . . . the evidence of things not seen. . . . Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:1, 3). That is, the material things of this present world were not made of pre-existing materials; they were supernaturally created by the word of the Creator! These things that are now seen provide evidence (or better, the “conviction”) of the things not seen—that is, of God’s creative work completed in the past.

The “processes” that are now seen (as distinct from the “materials”) date especially from the time of the great Flood. The “things not seen as yet” by Noah—that is, the present atmospheric circulation, the present hydrological cycle, the present seasonal changes, and many other key phenomena of the present order—all were instituted in the days of Noah when “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6).

Finally, “we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for . . . the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). Just as surely as the materials and processes of the present world once were unseen but now are easily seen, so the future eternal world will soon be clearly seen when Christ returns. HMM


Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Lee’s Addition:

God’s Wisdom cannot be seen. As was mentioned in the last blog, God’s Recipe for the Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Creation came about by God speaking things into being. These birds did not evolve from this to that. No, God spoke, and they were. Full, complete, and ready to fly.

Wordless Toucan

Instantaneous Creation – from I.C.R.’s Days of Praise

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) by J Fenton

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) by J Fenton

I.C.R.’s Days of Praise – Instantaneous Creation

BY HENRY M. MORRIS, PH.D. | THURSDAY, MAY 03, 2018

“Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.” (Psalm 148:5)

The concept of “fiat creation” is opposed by evolutionists and all who believe in the so-called geologic ages. Nevertheless, this is clearly the teaching of the Word of God, and God was there! Psalm 148 exhorts all the stars to praise the Lord, and then notes that, as soon as God spoke, they “were created.” Similarly, “by the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. . . . For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6, 9).

It is worth noting that whenever the verbs “create” and “make” are used in reference to God’s work of creation, they are never in the present tense. God is not now creating or making stars or animals or people as theistic evolution requires; at the end of the six-day creation period, in fact, God “rested from all his work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:3).

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) Reinier Munguia

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) Reinier Munguia

This is the teaching of the New Testament also. “The worlds [that is, the space/time cosmos, the ‘aeons’] were framed [not ‘are being framed’] by the word of God [not ‘by processes of stellar evolution’], so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear [not ‘out of pre-existing materials,’ as required by theories of chemical and cosmic evolution]” (Hebrews 11:3).

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself confirmed the doctrine of recent creation.

“From the beginning of the creation [not, that is, four billion years after the solar system evolved] God made them [Adam and Eve] male and female” (Mark 10:6).

Thus, those who believe in the geologic ages are rejecting both the biblical record and the authority of Jesus Christ in order to attain ephemeral acceptance by the ungodly. This is a poor exchange! HMM


What a great devotional because it expresses exactly what I believe about God’s Creation. God created our marvellous Avian Wonders which did not evolve from dinosaurs. They were created the day after the birds.

Days of Praise Devotionals

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