Icemen and Lammergeiers

Excerpt from the book “Flying over the Pyrenees, standing on the plains”

Lammergeier, Gypaetus barbatus, or if you like “Bearded Vulture”

Actually, Bearded Vulture is another English name for the Lammergeier, although its use has not yet become as universal as the more pedantic would like it to be. For the dictionary buffs there is also the old English term “Ossifrage”, meaning “bone-breaker”. This name, somewhat inexplicably, was later transferred to the image of the Osprey or “Ospray” as it was known centuries ago. “The Ossifrage … or dispised eagle …” begins one scholarly elucidation of the term by a 17th Century author; leaving the reader to wonder which of the two raptors would be most “dispised” at the time: Ospreys for stealing fish from rivers and ponds, or the Lammergeier, notorious for its maloevelent dedication to searching for climbers looking for eggs on the crags, to knock them off the ledges and to watch them plunge to their deaths.

Lammergeier or Bearded Vullture

Additionally, those who suffer from a certain degree of alopecia would be well advised to heed the warning implicit in another legend, which asserts that the Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed by a tortoise dropped on his bald head by a Lammergeier which had mistaken it for a stone. Hmmm.

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