For the Egyptian vultures at CERM (Endangered Raptors centre) the breeding season is in full swing: the first two eggs were laid on the 7th and the 13th of April

At CERM, the Endangered Raptor Centre located in Rocchette di Fazio, in southern Tuscany (Italy), Elena and Salvatore, a breeding pair of Egyptian vultures, have laid the first two eggs of the season.

Egg laid by the pair Elena-Salvatore

CERM, which is running a breeding program with the aim of raising young birds for reintroduction into the wild, houses the largest number of captive Egyptian vultures in the world, and the pairs started courting towards the end of February, before beginning to mate and build their nests.

And Elena and Salvatore are now brooding attentively over two precious eggs. The fact that both birds now live in captivity is the result of “accidents” that befell them during their time in the wild, and which have made it impossible for them to be returned to their natural habitat; while Elena is originally from Spain, Salvatore is an Italian bird who was recovered in Calabria after a poacher wounded him in the wing, rendering him unable to fly any more.
The pair in question are the first to begin breeding every year, laying their first egg at the beginning of April.
A close-knit pair, who have been together for 6 years, Elena and Salvatore have already raised 6 chicks. Elena alone has already raised 14 chicks in the past with her previous companion, Modesto, an exemplary partner and father who, unfortunately, died in 2012, but not before the pair had adopted and brought up a significant number of young from several other pairs.
Currently, four more females are also in the verge of laying, and are kept under constant observation via videocameras by the personnel at CERM; monitoring the females in this way permits the staff to transfer the eggs to an incubator promptly in the event that the pair in question is not thought to be sufficiently attentive during the lengthy incubation period, which lasts for 42 days.

Life Egyptian Vulture