An Egyptian vulture has been sighted in the South Roscommon area. He was initially observed on the morning of New Year’s Eve (31st December 2021) by the National Parks and Wildlife Services warden for Lough Rea and the Mid-Shannon Callows in the area, Owen Murphy, who picked up on the unusual flight pattern of the bird and upon closer examination, identified him as an Egyptian vulture.

The first recorded sighting of this bird species took place in the north of the country over the summer; however, it cannot be determined if this is the same vulture. This adult Egyptian vulture appears to be alone and the reason for the vulture’s arrival to Irish shores from his native habitat is unclear.

The Egyptian Vulture has made a stir in Irish birdwatching circles with a number of people travelling from many parts of Ireland to see it and many more arranging to travel today.

The Lough Ree area is rated as the most important site for Breeding Waterbirds in a report published this year for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, with the Shannon Callows also being rated highly. The area boosts large numbers of Red and Amber listed species with ‘rarities’ popping up on occasion.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service are keen to stress that the Egyptian vulture does not pose a threat to the public or to livestock.

Photos enclosed in this press release are provided courtesy of Conor Henry, a student from Munster Technological University, who was on the scene on New Year’s Eve.