Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) are responsible for most cases of usurpation of nests of Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus). However, little is known about how both species interact during reproduction. We studied territorial behaviour during the breeding season in four Bearded Vulture pairs in the eastern Pyrenees of northeastern Spain. Frequency of agonistic behavior was positively correlated with Griffon Vulture colony size. However, no significantly higher frequency of aggressive interactions was found that suggested actual competition for nest sites between these species. Nonetheless, Bearded Vulture pairs maintained a continuous defence of the area immediately surrounding their nests throughout the breeding season. Our data suggest that the Bearded Vulture's territorial behavior was more closely associated with defence of breeding space than with specific defence of actual nest sites.
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Vol. 73 • No. 1