Team VCF (Vulture Conservation Foundation)


The Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) is an international NGO committed to the conservation of the European vulture species: Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus), Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), Cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus). The VCF has extensive experience in the protection of vultures in their natural habitat. All European vulture species have a highly vulnerable status, and their distribution ranges have been severely restricted in the last century.

logo_vcfThreats such as illegal poisoning, poaching, lack of food availability and collisions at wind farms and powerlines are putting the incipient recovery of some populations at risk. Vultures require large natural areas of good quality habitat, which is increasingly difficult to find in the humanized European continent. Protecting vultures therefore means protection of the entire European mountain ecosystems. Safe Flyways are of enormous importance to the vultures. Although Egyptian vultures are the only real migratory species, the other vulture species travel huge distances, mainly at a young age. Illegal bird-killing still takes casualties every year, something the VCF is fighting hard together with local partners.

One of the measures taken, is to raise awareness to the importance of safe Flyways. That is why TeamVCF will enter the Champions of the Flyway birdrace! We will try to raise as much publicity as we can using f.i. our Facebook-page! And: as our team consists of experienced birdraces: we sure will have a go at the podium!
If you share the VCF’s concern to the Vultures and the Flyways they, and other species use, please support TeamVCF! A “like” on Facebook to either the TeamVCF-page or the official VCF-page is much appreciated!

More information on the Vulture Conservation Foundation is available on:

VCF Page:

Please donate to our efforts to protect the miracle of migration so we can become Champions of the Flyway!

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If you have any trouble donating, please write us directly.

Meet the Team

Hans Pohlmann

Hans Pohlmann

Team Captain

Hans Pohlmann picked up birding at a later age. Nature in a broad perspective has been a major part of his life from young age on, but only around the age of 20 he got interested in birds. But since then, it has been a real passion! Living in the eastern part of the Netherlands means you have to drive towards the North and Wadden Sea to experience real bird migration. Migration here is really different than in the Eilat area, but seeing hundreds of thousands of waders migrating along the East Atlantic Flyway is an experience every birder has to do once in his life. Hans likes birding in a broad package: from twitching rare birds, to birdraces, to surveys: it fits him all. In his dayjob at a leading Contractor, he works on major projects which restore the Dutch nature, but which are also invaluable to the migrating birds. The restoration of the island of Griend in the Waddenzee and the construction of a huge area of new breeding islands (Marker Wadden) in Lake Markermeer are some examples. Hans first came into contact with the Vulture Conservation Foundation after seeing a wildborn Bearded Vulture near his home. This might be the first accepted case of a Bearded Vulture in the Netherlands. Wanting to know more about this species, he contacted the VCF. Shortly after, a weakened Bearded Vulture was found in the Netherlands and the contacts with the VCF were used again, in order to make sure the bird got the best care. After the bird recuperated he brought it back to the Alps, and released it at 2500 m under supervision of the VCF. When another bird visited the Netherlands a year later, he protected the bird for two weeks. Unfortunately, this bird didn’t survive his travels: another proof how dangerous migration is… The magnificence of vultures and the importance of safe Flyways for them, combined with a passion for birdraces, makes an excellent combination to join Champions of the Flyway!

Lennaert Steen

Lennaert Steen has been interested in birds for most of his life. In the early days, he wandered with his brother through the woods and riverbanks near his home in the eastern part of the Netherlands. From young age he familiarized himself with most of the breeding birds in the Netherlands. Later on he expanded his birding trips to all over Europe and the rest of the world. He has traveled to over 40 countries and this will be his third visit to Israel. All his birding observations are found on the online portals (Netherlands only) and Since the start of both websites he is an administrator and validator for bird-sightings entered there. In his spare-time he loves to visit the Wadden-islands in the north of the Netherlands, a highly valuable part of the East Atlantic Flyway. Counting waders on the remote island Rottumerplaat or trying to find rarities on the island Vlieland are the best days of the year to him. Since almost fifteen years he is familiar with Birdraces. The passion and the thrill of finding as much as possible different birdingspecies in twentyfour hours, has always been a highlight of the birding-year. Migration is another highlight every year, especially when he is able to visit the migration hot-spots around the World. Hopefully, the migration in Israel will be as good as his last two visits. The spring migration of the bigger birds (all the raptors and storks) in the Eilat Mountains, is something which branded into his mind forever This phenomenon of bird migration will always  be special in his birding life.

Lennaert Steen

David Uit de Weerd

David Uit de Weerd

David Uit de Weerd started birdwatching at the age of 12. Soon he knew all the common birds and got interested in rare birds. When he was 14 he joined the Dutch Birding organisation. Between 1992-2003 he almost quit birding, when other activities attracted him more. But the birds were never out of his mind: in 2003 he started birding again. In 2004-2005 he met his current teammates. With Lennaert and Hans he did several birdraces in his hometown Zwolle and the province of Overijssel. The feeling of doing a Big Day is indescribable. David likes to preparate Big Days as a military operation, planning every 5-10 minutes in the 24 hours. Targetting on birds and time schedule is great. Using all positive and unique talents of every team member. David visited Israël before in 2009 and he always intended to go back to this beautiful country. The migration of passerines and raptors, in particular in the southern part of Israël, is magnificent. 

Besides bird watching around Zwolle David likes making international birding trips. Every autumn you’ll find David, together with his birding friends, a few weekends on the Dutch Wadden island Vlieland (, trying to find rare birds.  David’s motto is: ‘Live your dreams’.