Date: 7/29/20 9:34 am
From: Harry Armistead <harryarmistead...>
Subject: [va-bird] Egyptian Vulture

Seen well on the Cape Charles Christmas Bird Count many years ago, an immature, soaring over what is now Eastern Shore of Virginia N.W.R. by Paul Sykes, Brian Patteson, and a 3rd observer whose name escapes me (from NC; wears an oversize belt buckle emblazoned in big letters with “BULLSHIT”). These 3 all wrote good descriptions.

At the time I asked Richard Ryan, I think that was his name, an authority on the holdings of zoos and private collections and an active birder. He said the bird was probably an escape from a theme park such as Great Adventure. No records at that outstanding outpost for Eurafrican strays, Barbados.

Somehow Bill Clark got wind of this and asked me. I sent him the 3 descriptions. I was very surprised he included it in his 2nd edition. It would be so nice if this was a wild bird, but it doesn’t seem likely.

Birds of Europe, many consider the best field guide ever done, by Zetterstrom, Svensson & Mullarney, has 11 illustrations of this vulture, which does, in fact, occur in Egypt. That’s from the 1st edition (Princeton, 1999). I don’t have the 2nd ed. here in MD. Neither do I have my files for the Christmas count here - Harry Armistead, Philadelphia & Bellevue, MD.

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