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Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture
Photo Information
Copyright: Adrian Osmant (suenade) Silver Note Writer [C: 5 W: 0 N: 19] (130)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 30d, Sigma 50-500 F/4-6.3 EX HSM, RAW ISO 200, UV Filter
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-05-14 7:32
Viewed: 3386
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Taken whilst on a recent photographic holiday to Crete, here's a shot of the magnificent Griffon Vultures that can be found there.
This species is very rare with about 10,000 pairs surviving in the wild globally, of this only about 30 breeding pairs are to be found on the island, we were extremely lucky to find a location where these birds were nesting. Although long lens and tripods were needed as the actual nests were quite in-accessable. They were truly a wonderful sight to behold and were one of our main reasons for visiting the islands.
A little more info on the species as follows:
Length: 95-110cm
Wingspan: 230-265cm (yes you did read this correctly)
Habitat: Resident in the mountains of the Mediterrean area, although some birds can be found in Northern Europe. Favours open, dry valleys and plateau, where they patrol for carrion.
Often to be found soaring and gliding in loose flocks, although while in Crete we did see 22 birds in the air riding the thermals at the same time.
Usually nests on cliff ledges or in the entrance to caves on steep mountains in loose colonies of 10-20 pairs.

I'll hopefully be uploading one or two other shots of these fantastic wild birds over the next few days, so keep an eye out if your interested. Hope you enjoy and any comments or criticisms of the shot would be welcome. Regards....Ade

falke, SelenE, IanA has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • falke Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 153 W: 18 N: 479] (1863)
  • [2007-05-14 8:12]

You fooled me with the geographic location....

I thought you had a sensation going on here with a Griffon Vulture in Bristol..... ;o) But your note corrected it.

Besides that is this a great action photo. I love those! Great details and an interesting BG, did you have to climb very high to get this angle?

You also wrote an interesting note. 5 points for that!


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-05-14 8:25]

Hi Adrian,
Thank you for posting this precious shot. Well done and TFS

lovely capture and the compositin is just right, pity there was'nt a stronger contrast between the bird and the rock, or maybe a shallower dof to isolate it. but saying that i think it works fine.

Haven't I seen you somewhere before? ;)

Whereabouts in Crete are these Ade? Its a big place but I've been there twice and if I go again hot tips for good sites are always handy! Off to Rodos again in 2 weeks times, can't wait! Whats it like lugging the bigma abroad? I don't really fancy taking mine, probably go with just a macro.

Good shot btw, couldn't have been easy at a distance, and not something you see everyday thats for sure!


Hi Adrian,
Nice picture of this Griffon Vulture. Obviously taken at long distance but still nice and sharp. I dont think you would have been able to lessen the depth of field with the 50-500mm lens which might have made the background less obtrusive. Difficult shot to take and you have done well here.

  • Great 
  • IanA (29)
  • [2007-05-20 3:07]

Nicely done Mate. The heads, with their downy covering, always make the head and neck look soft but in the full size version I know you can see the eyeballs!


Lol, Bristol? Nice colours in the cliff that set the bird off really well, and what an impressive bird.

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