Wednesday, 6 January 2016


Andy Ruffle has kindly provided this update on activities and conservation efforts at the hide which I thought would of be interest.
Cape Vulture (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)
Avitourism and education

During 2015, over 260 visitors and learners were hosted, up from 240 in 2014.  This is a good increase, despite being closed throughout January for the capture programme.  Three schools/colleges were also hosted and we hope to step this up in 2016.
School children visiting the hide
On 23rd January, the hide will be hosting a Poisoning intervention and investigation training course, with 17 attendees currently registered.

Conservation and research

235 tag re-sightings (with more for December outstanding) were submitted to the Safring, Endangered Wildlife Trust and Vulpro databases.

Andy will be speaking to Andre Botha from EWT about instigating more tagging at outlying colonies.  Butt Farm in Kamberg is a good potential ringing site, as it seems to attract birds from a wide area. Bird 'N103 Heidi' regularly travels between Butt Farm and Oribi.
"Heidi" N103 (photo Andy Ruffle)
Heidi's movements in pink
Andy is annotating his observations (from his hours in the hide) and will be collating the data for publication on the Ornitholigical Observations website.

Visitors to the hide appear to be having little impact on the vultures.  In fact, it sometimes seems that the birds actually play up to their adoring admirers!

The Marburg University students will be arriving on the 6 January for a month. The hide will be closed to visitors for the duration.  Fingers crossed for a successful capture this year.  It is hoped that some adult birds may possibly be fitted with transmitters this time around. This will be invaluable for us to determine where the adult birds are foraging.

Thanks once again to Mike Neethling for giving us the opportunity to experience these wonderful birds.


  1. Well done, good luck with the project.

    1. Great to be part of the Club that has been involved with the project. Keep it up Andy! Every success in 2016! Vic and Kay