Corinne Kendall— 13 January 2010 — in East Africa Project Share
While Roger wandered northwest, other birds seemed to stay at home for the holidays or took their travels between two of the best parks in Kenya, Masai Mara National Reserve and Tsavo. Homer, one of the first adult African White-backed Vultures we tagged, went from Tsavo to Masai Mara and back this last month. Unlike Roger, the Ruppell's vulture, who spread his movement fairly evenly, Homer tended to travel quickly going from one destination to the other in only three to five days (not bad given that it is nearly 300 km each way).
Interestingly he took a different route for the journeys to and from Tsavo, dipping into Tanzania during the return—perhaps the winds were more to his liking near Lake Natron for the return journey.
But no two African White-backs are the same. Blondie, one of the whitest feathered vultures I have ever seen (possibly indicating old age as the feathers usually whiten with sun exposure over the years) chose a rather different adventure, moving from Ngorogoro crater through the homelands of Serengeti and Masai Mara, before skipping town and trying the north with travels through Naivasha, Nakuru, Nanyuki, and beyond.
Quagmire, another African White-backed vulture, was more of a home body, spending the entire month in the Mara-Serengeti area and only venturing outside the protected area for a few days.
But what of the Lappet-faced Vultures? Lisa also decided to stay home for the holidays. This elegant Lappet-faced Vulture spent the whole month of December near Ngorogoro Crater, hardly spanning 30 miles through the entire month. With the wildebeest headed in her direction, this popular Tanzanian conservation area must be a good place to get a meal.
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