Rare ‘bone-eating’ vulture shocks motorists on busy Cambs road

A huge bone-eating vulture shocked motorists when it landed on a road near Peterborough last weekend.

The Bearded vulture, or lammergeier, has an eight-foot wingspan and is hardly ever seen in the UK.

The rare bird was caught on camera holding up traffic after it landed in the middle of a busy road in Cambridgeshire on Saturday afternoon (October 10).

The bearded vulture is normally found in Alpine regions, but it is believed to have spent the summer roosting in the Peak District, sparking a spate of sightings.

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They were the first sightings of the vulture flying in British skies since it was spotted and photographed in 2016 over Dartmoor in Devon.

Experts believe the rare bird flew over from the Alps, having been part of a population that was released into the wild there.

They also believe the bird had encountered bad weather above other countries so fled to the UK skies, or perhaps went on a trip away from its home in the Alpine region.

The Bearded vulture, or lammergeier, is rarely seen in the UK

It is thought to have flown over the English Channel at the end of June from central Europe, where there are only 600 to 1,000 pairs in an area stretching from Spain to Russia.

The vultures can also be found in the Caucasus between the Black and Caspian seas, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Tibet.

The birds, which normally live and breeds on crags in high mountains, feed mainly on bones from the carcasses of large herbivores like sheep.

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Their distinguishing feature is their feathered neck, while this type of bird tends to hatch two or three eggs in winter before they hatch in spring.

The bearded vulture is categorised as ‘near threatened’, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

They get their name from a distinctive tuft of feathers under their lower beak.

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