Griffon watching

For our guests we can organize griffon nests watching from the sea and tours of the most frequent places that they visit, all accompanied by an official guide.

Currently on the island of Cres there are about 80 nesting pairs of griffon vultures and they nest on nearby islands Plavnik, Krk and Prvić as well. Griffon vulture, Gyps fulvus, is of great importance for the entire Tramuntana, Cres and Croatia. Due to risk of extinction, the habitat of these birds are being preserved, increase of the number of birds is of great importance and citizens and tourists are educated to be aware of the importance of griffon protection.

There are two ornithological reserves on the island of Cres, Podokladi in the middle part and Kruna on the north of the island.

Griffons

Griffons belong in vulture family, birds that almost never attack live prey. The griffon is about 100 cm long and weights about 7-9 kg, and the weight can reach more than 10 kg. Some griffons have experienced age greater than 50 years. The wingspan is about 2.80 m, they have a strong beak, and the head and neck are covered only with down, their legs are adapted to walking (and not catching the prey) and the long, broad wings are essential for long cruises. They cruise the sky at a speed of 40-50 km / h, and gliding flight speed can reach 120 km / h. They nest on the steep cliffs near to the sea, sometimes at only 10 meters from the sea level.

When vulture discovers the carcass it begins to circulate, which is a sign for the others to join him. Vultures feeding on the carcass can stop a possible chain of infection among animals, and it is not surprising that the bird has always been well regarded among the shepherds. Griffons have only one offspring per year, and they reach maturity at the age of 5. During the first five years they are wanderers, and when they grow up, they come back to Cres, find a partner and bend nest.