Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Update from Julie Kozak in Isreal...Vultures, National Geographic and More

Hey Everyone,
It's been about a month since I last e-mailed anyone and I thought I should update you on some of the happenings here at Gamla Nature Reserve. Well last week was a very exciting week, on monday we had a bunch of rangers here for tagging to two Griffon Vulture chicks. I was originally supposed to observe from across the the gorge where the nest is but I got invited to come up on the cliff with everyone else at the nest named Susana. It was very exciting watching one of the rangers repell down to the nest and watching the weighing, leg banding, and wing tagging process and how it is exactly like the stories I have heard in my classes, but in Israel. While this was happening Yoram Shpirer was photographing it all, he's one of the top photographers here in Israel and he's very nice. He came and sat next to me when I went back to my observation spot, talked with me for awhile and took pictures together. It my first chance to get close to a Griffon Vulture, and it was nice since I've spent a month watching them from 100-400 meters away. Then on thursday we received 6 fledgling vultures to add to our 7 that we are raising until adulthood (because their parents were poisoned last year), so now we have 15 vultures in our enclosure. Igal the man who was raising them asked me if I wanted to come to the cage and help release them into the cage, and of course I said yes! There was this woman who I had never seen before with us and she even went to the cage with us (which only workers get to do), later I found out that she was a photographer from NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC!!!! The magazine has been following Igal and the chicks through the whole process of their developement, it was so cool! I can't believe National Geographic was doing a story at my internship location, when I was first told they were here I thought it was a joke. But no, its for real. Anyways I think thats enough excitement for now!

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