Vultures Facts – Profile | Traits | Behavior | Appearance | Prey

(Last Updated On: April 9, 2021)

Vultures facts are interesting. There are 9 vulture species present in southern Africa, all are giant highly effective birds with large wingspans that spend many of the days aloft in the hunt for carrion to eat.

Vultures profile and facts

These birds are fitted with big hooked form payments designed for tearing by means of the flesh, tendons, and skin of huge mammal species. Almost all species are carnivorous aside from the aberrant Palm Nut vulture that’s identified for its vegetarian consumption.

There is nonetheless a normal pecking order among-st vulture species at these feeding frenzies, largely dictated by numbers and size, interesting vultures facts.

Vultures, though identified for his or her spectacular eyesight, are sometimes led to carcasses by Bateleurs, these birds have an outstanding means to identify carrion, and their low-circling first-rate is a sign to an armada of scavenging species that there’s something of curiosity down there.

Next arrivals are often the smaller White-headed and Hooded vultures who wearily watch the carcass alongside the Bateleur, before the bravest of them begin to drop down and strategy the carcass.

These smaller vultures often don’t have a whole lot of time before the true carcass hogs arrive, the White Backed Vultures. These vultures all dropping in on the carcass in giant numbers with their pig-like squeals and flapping wings all jostling and combating for house make fast work of the carcass with the White-headed and Hooded Vultures being swept apart by the chaotic behavior of the Whitebacks.

Almost too late often the Lappet-faced Vultures (the most important of our species) airplane in and land with a bounce on the ground. With wings unfold open they advance ahead, clearing their path with their sheer size and demeanor, usually getting facet tracked in quarreling with different vultures.

They often take what’s leftover similar to pores and skin and bones and harder items of meat that their massive robust payments enable them to cope with higher than different vulture species in any way, vital vultures facts.

The normal feeding behavior of vultures around a carcass is one thing that will resemble an end-of-year sale at a division retailer.

It begins with a mad scramble for the doorways, adopted by shoving and jostling on the discount counters, and ends with probably the most strong and pushy prospects staggering off with their spoils, leaving the depleted pickings for the latecomers.

It is definitely a sight to behold, the mixture of the scent and noise, with bloody birds rising with full crops from the carcass is a spectacle of being aware.

So there’s order among-st chaos in spite of everything at these vulture feeding frenzies. It might take a mere couple of minutes for a median sized carcass of about 50 kg to be lowered to simply bones.

All the noise often will entice the eye of close by scavengers of the bigger selection similar to Hyenas and even Lion, so if you do come throughout some vultures feeding on safari it might be value your whereas sticking round to see what else might seem.

By taking up the position because the so-referred to as ‘rubbish ‘removers of the bush these birds play an extremely necessary position in eradicating facilities of illnesses and bacteria similar to anthrax and botulism, which will unfold from these sights, interesting vultures facts.

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Unfortunately, vulture populations are dealing with a continuous and speedy decline of their numbers over the southern African area owed to many alternative threats.

These birds fall sufferer to contaminated meals provides from sure medication used to deal with livestock – which can be toxic to vultures.

They inadvertently ingest pest control poisons supposed for different animals and electrocution from collisions with power-lines are important points that result in the deaths of many vulture species, crucial vultures facts.

Vultures additionally face an enormous risk from the harvesting of body elements for conventional medicines in southern Africa. It is believed that they include the powers of premonition or foresight and people ceremonies utilizing the birds’ brains can switch these powers to an individual.

Possessing the foot of a vulture can be believed to convey good luck. With more than 60 p.c of the South African inhabitants nonetheless consulting conventional healers, using protected species’ body elements shall be a persisting downside to deal with sooner or later.

These grossly underrated birds are heading in the direction of native extinction in lots of areas if these critical threats should not be addressed quickly. Studies present {that a} disappearance of those birds might result in extreme ecosystem imbalances.

Raising the profile and public notion of those birds might result in elevated conservation efforts for them because it has completed so for a lot of beforehand underrated animals such because the African Wild Dog lately.

They manner reply to sure species might have a direct influence on whether or not or not they have got a future, important vultures facts.

We all need to help conservation efforts for the numerous threatened and endangered vulture species in southern Africa at the moment, educate your kids on the significance of species as a substitute for stigmatizing them as this may occasionally all have an effect on how they’re perceived by the larger public in future.

1. White-Headed Vulture

  • Scientific Name: Trigonoceps occipitalis (Burchell, 1824)
  • English: White-headed Vulture
  • Scientific classification:
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Acciptriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Genus: Trigonoceps
  • Species: occipitalis

Distribution, Habitat, and Status

It is endemic all through sub-Saharan Africa, occurring from Senegal and Gambia east to Somalia and south to South Africa and Swaziland

There are roughly 5,500 birds are left globally

Distinctive Behaviour

  • It typically avoids human habitation.
  • They keep a territory and should typically fly decrease than different vultures
  • They are sometimes the first vulture species to reach carcasses.
  • This vulture prefers freshly killed prey, in contrast to different vulture species.
  • At a carcass, they dominate and can push all of the others out of their manner, aside from the highly effective Lappet-faced Vulture.
  • Unusually for vultures, they’re very nimble on the ground and fight by leaping into the air and lashing out with their robust talons.
  • They roost at night in timber both alone or in pairs, being very shy vultures.


  • Height – 78 – 85cm
  • The strong hooked bill is orange with a black tip.
  • The cere and base of the bill are blue.
  • Eyes are small and uninteresting orange. Ruffed white legs and stomach separated from the downy white head by its placing black breast. Black ruff. Large wings are brown with white edges
  • They are a vulture with predominantly blackish and white plumage as a grownup. Broad triangular bald head, white down on crown and nape forming a slight crest.
  • Bare pink pores and skin around eyes, cheeks, and front of the neck.
  • We can see a white line alongside the ends of larger underwing coverts.
  • Flight feathers and tail are black. Bare legs and talons are pinkish-orange.
  • Brownish top of the head, and white mottling on the mantle.
  • Wingspan: 2.3m; Weight: 3.Three to five.3kg.


  • They nest on tall treetops and often lay one egg per year.
  • Incubation lasts about 43 to 54 days and is shared by each parent.
  • Fledging takes place at about 115 days and is fed by parents for as much as one other six months.

2. Egyptian Vulture

  • Scientific Name: Neophron percnopterus (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • English: White scavenger vulture, Egyptian EagleAFR: Egiptiese Aasvoël
  • Scientific classification:
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Genus: Neophron
  • Species: percnopterus

Distribution, Habitat, and Status

  • The estimated inhabitants 20 000 – 61 000 and between 13 000 and 41 000 mature people.
  • The Egyptian Vulture is an old-world vulture
  • They are regionally extinct in South Africa
  • Roosting websites differ all through the world and is usually completed on ledges, cliffs, and rocky outcrops
  • In India, they’ve been seen making nests in buildings and infrequently on the ground

Distinctive Behaviour

  • Egyptians vultures are often seen on their very own or in pairs hovering in thermals or perched on the ground or on top of buildings
  • When strolling on the ground they have a waddle.
  • Their diet consists of a range of meals together with mamma feaces (incl. human), bugs, carrion, vegetable matter, and typically small animals
  • At a feeding frenzy on a carcass, they’re shy and can cling back till bigger species depart the carcass.
  • Their nests are manufactured from sticks and lined with lots of wool, hair, rags, or the stays of meals, and measures 1.5 meters throughout.


  • 55-65 cm tall
  • The wingspan is 1.55m – 107m
  • Weight: 1.6-2.2kg
  • Adults have largely white to pale gray plumage, which contrasts markedly with the black flight-feathers and the daring yellow naked pores and skin on the face.
  • The long, slim bill has a yellow, ending with a black tip.
  • The tail is brief and wedge-shaped.
  • The legs could also be greyish-white, pink, or pale yellow.
  • Juveniles are largely darkish brown with contrasting space of pale buff.


  • Nesting is finished on cliffs and two eggs per clutch are laid
  • Eggs are incubated by each parent for 42 days
  • Fledging of chicks happen between 70 – 85 days

3. Cape Vulture

  • Scientific Name:
  • Gyps coprotheres (faeces-eating vulture) (Forster, 1798)
  • English: Cape Griffon Vulture, Cape Vulture, Kolbe’s Griffon
  • Scientific classification:
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Genus: Gyps
  • Species: coprotheres

Distribution, Habitat, and Status

  • They at the moment are extinct as a breeding species in Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Swaziland.
  • Approximately 10 000 people left and 4000 breeding pairs.
  • The Cape vulture is an old-world vulture
  • They are restricted to southern Africa with principal colonies in South Africa and Botswana
  • Breed and roost on the cliff face ledges.

Distinctive Behaviour

  • Breeding is finished in colonies of a number of hundred birds
  • Nests are constructed of sticks and are located on high cliffs (cliffs turn into white-streaked from all of the bird droppings)
  • Birds are sometimes seen sunbathing and hovering across the nest
  • They descend in giant numbers to feed on carrion
  • Arguing over meals is frequent amongst them
  • They are extremely clear birds who bathe after consuming and preen till they’re spotless once more


  • The bill and cere are black and so they have yellow eyes with blue pores and skin.
  • They are heavy longed necked vultures
  • They are pale cream with black flight feathers; they’ve darkish blobs alongside the larger wing coverts.
  • Juveniles are darker in color with pink neck pores and skin and darkish eyes.
  • Height: Very giant about 95cm tall
  • The wingspan is 2.55 meters
  • Weight common 11kgs.


  • Nesting websites are reused or rebuilt with sticks
  • The incubation interval is 54 days and duties are shared by each parent.
  • Females lay a single egg and share duties of feeding and incubation between the female and male.
  • Male and feminine pair is monogamous for all times and so they breed in winter.
  • Chicks solely enterprise from the nest at 4 months

4. African White-backed Vulture

  • Scientific Name: Gyps africanus (Salvadori, 1865)
  • English: White-backed Vulture
  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Genus: Gyps
  • Species: africanus

Distribution, Habitat, and Status

  • They are discovered very high above sea level as high as much as 3000m above sea level.
  • They make their nests on cliffs and often lay only one egg per year – they nest in unfastened colonies.
  • The African White-backed Vulture is an Old World vulture.
  • They are probably the most widespread and customary in Africa. The African white-backed is Endemic to
  • They are extinct in Nigeria as a breeding species.
  • They are categorized as lowland species that have a desire for woodland.
  • South Africa solely has an estimate of 40,000 people left.

Distinctive Behaviour

  • These vultures use thermals high within the sky to soar and spend hours in search of carrion.
  • Breeding is finished at the beginning of the dry season and nesting is in unfastened colonies of between 2 as much as 13 birds
  • Nests encompass sticks lined with grass and leaves and are often made within the fork or crown of a tress
  • Feeding is finished in giant numbers on the carcass and infrequently a whole lot of “sibling rivalry” takes place.


  • They have white rumps
  • They have bald heads and long necks
  • The color from brown to cream with darkish tail and flight feathers.
  • Juvenile birds are darker.
  • Length: 89-98 cm
  • Wingspan: 210-220 cm
  • Weight: 4,2-7,2 kg0


  • They are a tree nesting species however not a lot of information is obtainable on breeding and success.
  • The feminine lays a single egg
  • Incubation is shared amongst the breeding pair
  • The pale gray chick is fed by each parent
  • Chicks fledge the nest at around 120 to 130 days of age

5. Hooded Vulture

  • Scientific Name: Necrosyrtes monachus (“a monk-like (bird) that drags away the useless)(Temminck, 1823)
  • English: Hooded Vulture
  • Scientific classification:
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Acciptriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Genus: Necrosyrtes
  • Species: monachus

Distribution, Habitat, and Status

  • The Hooded Vulture is likely one of the information poor tree nesting species, following proof of declines throughout its range; the overall inhabitants has been estimated at most of 197,000 people.
  • The hooded vulture is an old-world vulture, notable vultures facts.
  • They are endemic to southern Africa
  • The species is usually related to human settlements, however can be present in open grassland, forest edge, wooded savannah, and desert and alongside coasts, occurring as much as 4,000 m, but is most quite a few under 1,800 m.

Distinctive Behaviour

  • Roosts and builds its nests in Baobab trees mostly.
  • They feed on bugs, carrion and are identified to comply with plows to eat uncovered larvae and bugs, in addition to making use of garbage dumps for carrion.
  • The adults are very quiet and hardly vocalize.


  • Between 67 -70 cm tall with females being smaller than males
  • Weight: 2 kg
  • Wingspan: 1.6m
  • They are a smaller scruffy trying vulture with long skinny payments, naked crowns
  • They have conspicuous ear holes and downy necks and hind neck
  • When they perch they’re hunched over with wings drooping
  • Juveniles have a pale blue face and hood and darkish brown as a substitute for pale beige
  • They are smaller and shyer than different vultures.


  • They nest in timber and lays a clutch of 1 egg
  • Incubation is around 46-54 days and fledging takes place between 80 – 130 days
  • Breeding in South Africa happens between May and December
  • Little is thought about breeding and habits
  • Young rely upon their parents till the age of 3-Four month, notable vultures facts.

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