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What’s up with all the sticks?

You may walk by our habitat for endangered lappet-faced vultures and see sticks all over the ground or see one of our vultures walking around with a stick clamped tight in his or her beak. Our male, Anubis, and our female, Amana, have been busy working every day for the past few weeks making a nest with all of these sticks. Their nests normally consist of sticks about 2-3 feet long and are lined with grass and leaves once completed. They are building this nest in the building located at side of their habitat, so if you peek in the window you might be able to see them working on it. Lappet-faced vultures normally nest in the tops of trees, so we constructed a platform that they are currently using to build their nest on.

When these two birds first started constructing their nest they didn’t use very many sticks, but as time passed they began using more and more sticks every single day. To keep up with this increased demand for sticks, the Bird Team usually has to collect a wagon-full of sticks from all around the Zoo every day.

Lappet-faced vultures are the largest vultures in Africa, and if your happen to walk by and see their wings outstretched to nearly 8 feet wide, you can count yourself lucky. But if you don’t see them in their habitat, they are likely inside moving sticks around to make the finishing touches on their nest.
Ryan Weber
Seasonal Keeper, Birds

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