COMPETITION: Name this White-headed Vulture chick...

... and WIN a family ticket to the Hawk Conservancy Trust, based in Andover in Hampshire.

The Hawk Conservancy Trust want your help to name this cute vulture chick! Here it is aged 13 weeks old

The Hawk Conservancy Trust want your help to name this cute vulture chick! Here it is aged 13 weeks old

This lovely White-headed Vulture chick was born at the Hawk Conservancy Trust on Tuesday, April 12 this year and is highly significant for two reasons: They are critically endangered and the Trust know of no other collection which has achieved this.

Now the Trust is calling on Bird Watching readers' help to name the chick! The Trust have a theme each year to name their birds and this year it’s ‘Military Aircraft’. It's too early to tell whether the chick is male or female.

The chick’s parents, Angus and Satara, came to the Trust after they were seized by Italian customs in 2006. Soon after their arrival, they started training Satara so that she could fly in their demonstrations. Angus joined her the following year. Flying Angus and Satara together allowed them to develop a close relationship which the Trust believe contributed to the breeding success they had this year.

The chick at just over a month old

The chick at just over a month old

White-headed Vultures are known to be very secretive birds so, since the winter of 2014, they kept the pair in an off-show aviary and left them essentially undisturbed during each breeding season. Although they exhibited positive signs of breeding, they kept them in the aviary that they live in during the summer and where they fly from. They think that being well-settled prior to the breeding season could be a contributing factor to the success this year.

As you can imagine the Trust are thrilled. They believe this is the first time that this species has been bred in captivity from birds flown in demonstration, especially poignant as the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species lists the White-headed Vulture as critically endangered.  

TV's Chris Packham is president of the Trust and has been visiting the collection since his early teens and has a tremendous respect for the Smith family who have done such an incredible job building up the centre and now this exciting and dynamic charity. Ashley Smith and his team preside over what is "definitely the best presented bird of prey park anywhere in the UK. There is a bird hospital, great educational facilities, lots of practical conservation and research and it’s a wonderful place to visit on a day out. If you like birds of prey this is the place for you."

The Hawk Conservancy Trust is a registered charity set up for conservation, education, research and rehabilitation projects.


The prize...

Not only do you have the honour of naming this vulture for the rest of its life, but you also win a family ticket for the Hawk Conservancy Trust, value normally £44.95 and covers two adults and two children, aged 4-15 (under 4’s go free). It's valid for a year after the competition closing date, so August 31, 2017. Dates not available are Christmas Day, Boxing Day and for a month at the beginning of the year when the Trust is closed (details on the Trust's website).


How to enter...

Fill in the form below and suggest a name for this chick – remember, the Trust have a theme each year to name their birds and this year it’s ‘Military Aircraft’.

(If the name chosen was suggested by more than one entrant then just one winner will be chosen at random from all those recipients)

Closing date is August 31, 2016 and the winner will be notifed within 10 working days after this date.