Sitting in Nairobi as I prepare for my flight back to the US, I can hardly believe it has been three months. The Mara and its vultures have once again kept me busy with too much to see and do. I already miss the rolling hills, expansive plains, and forested rivers that have surrounded me throughout the stay. I miss the cries of the African white-backed vultures, the gentle chirp of the massive Lappet-faced vultures, and the giggles of the hyenas that have come to steal the vultures’ find.
The next few months I will watch the birds from afar, following their movements using the GSM-GPS transmitters that have been attached and reliving their interactions through my notes, photos, and videos taken during the carcass observations. I hope to make some sense out of all that I have seen and out of what is now nearly a full year of movement data from the first 14 birds. At the end we should have a more complete understanding of the impacts that the human-induced landscape changes are having on these important scavenger species, not just in and around Masai Mara National Reserve but throughout the species wide ranges which take them from the open plains of Serengeti and the misty crater of Ngorogoro to arid Laikipia whistling thorn acacia fields and flowing rivers of Masai Mara.
I plan to return in July to see the vultures at their peak as the wildbeest migration floods the Mara ecosystem. It will be a different world. It should be exciting to see the skies teaming with the black vulture silhouettes and the ground writhing with fighting scavengers.
In any case, I am now home. Thanks for following my blog and hope to see all of you soon! I will be returning to the field in mid July so until then I probably won’t be posting too many new blogs. Thanks for following along with my adventures.