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Laila's first flight
Corinne Kendall — in East Africa Project    Share

Laila, the Lappet-faced vulture fledgling, finally took her first flight. It was a short trip—she only travelled out about 500 m, but it was a start. She spent a few hours away and then quickly returned to the nest, exhausted for her initial use of her powerful wings. Each day the flights got a little longer, but for a while the direction didn't change. She had decided to go north and so each day she took her baby flights, slowly moving farther and farther away from the nest. After a week, she had gone as far as two miles from her home, but continued to find her way back to the nest. This seemed to build her confidence and she tried some short movements in a few other directions, going northeast for a few flights and then west for a few trips. Then suddenly, she went north again, this time she pushed her limits, taking her longest day trip yet and traveling out nearly four miles. I wonder if she knows that someday she might travel more than ten times this distance in a single day. (When you look at the map, the nest is at one of the southernmost points where several points are lumped.)
Laila's flights

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