Hooded Bulture at Jbel Moussa, northrn Morocco. It’s the first observation of the species in the country in more than six decades.
Un Vautour charognard observé à Jbel Moussa au nord du Maroc. C’est la première observation de l’espece dans la pays depuis plus de six décennies.
An immature Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus) observed with a flock of Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus) at Jbel Moussa. The bird was observed on 22 April 2023 by Rachid El Khamlichi and Mohamed Karim El Haoua. Next day, the vulture was captured at the feeding station adjacent to the Jbel Moussa Vulture Rehabilitation Centre and subsequently was colour-ringed (yellow ring with black alphanumeric code: M04).
The bird was released on 24 April and stayed around Jbel Moussa area until 8 May. During that period, the bird was successfully twitched by the French birder Pierre-André Crochet and local resident birder Benoit Maire (see second photo).
There is one confirmed previous record of this species in Morocco: 2 birds at Sbayera in Oued Dahab region on 7 June 1955. ‘Birds of Morocco’ (Thévenot et al. 2003) cites another possible record at Boumalne-Dadès in April 1989.
The Hooded Vulture is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and is categorised as Critically Endangered (CR) in the IUCN Red List.
The “Moroccan” Hooded Vulture reached northern Spain
The Hooded Vulture observed and in northern Morocco in April and May crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and dispersed all the way to northern Spain.
On 5 July 2023, Jorge Migoya Sánchez observed the bird in the Pineda valley, Vidrieros, in the province Palencia. The vulture was identified as the “Moroccan” bird by the colour-ring he was wearing.
Thanks for Fernando Jubete for sharing the news.
There are a few previous records of Hooded Vulture in Spain, however some of them were clearly escapes from captivity (including one that escaped from a Madrid Zoo, but later recaptured). Probably for this reason, the Hooded Vulture is currently assigned to “Category D” in the Spanish bird list.
According to the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU), “Species in Category D would otherwise appear in Category A, except that there is reasonable doubt that they have occurred in [insert a country] in a natural state”. Note also that species placed only in Category D are not included in the official bird list in many countries such as Britain, France,…etc.