'Harold' the vulture shocks sanctuary staff by laying an egg

Harold with her egg.
Harold with her egg. Photo credit: Facebook / Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation

A vulture named Harold has finally laid an egg after 20 years - shocking sanctuary staff who thought she was a male the whole time.

"Today Eagle Heights staff are FLABAGASTED!" the sanctuary, based in England, wrote on Twitter.

"20 years ago we bought Harold our male Griffon Vulture only to find this morning that he is actually a SHE and has laid her 1st ever egg!"

A spokesperson went on to explain that Harold had paperwork confirming she was a male when she arrived.

"So we took their word for it, as sexing a bird can be rather stressful, as you have to take blood or pull out a blood feather and get a DNA test done.

"Males and females look exactly the same, so unless you DNA there is no way of telling, especially in vultures.

"Sometimes with eagles you can make a guess regarding their size as to whether they are male or female, but vultures are not that easy."

The chick will not be born as Harold had no male vulture to fertilise it.

The centre is now searching for a husband for the bird.

"Watch this space."

Newshub.