On the wing - Himalayan Griffon in flight

Watching a great bird in flight is an experience both meditative and educational

A Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) rises slowly on a thermal -- an updraft of warm air rising up from the sun-warmed earth -- above the dense forests in a valley in Uttarakhand, northern India. Among the largest species of vultures, Griffons are powerful fliers – or rather gliders – thanks to their broad, strong wings (which span nearly 3 meters from tip to tip). We watched the bird rise, without a single wing flap, from the abyss below, circle up like a bit of paper caught on an updraft, and rise above us and beyond, touching the clouds...

Text and Photograph: Sandeep Somasekharan
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