Barren areas such as mountain steppes, high plateaus and cliffs.
Weight: 15 – 18 pounds
Wingspan: 6 – 8 feet
Captivity: Approximately 30 – 40 years.
- Breeding from May to September, high in the mountains where there are cliffs and deep ravines.
- Nests in trees and on rocks, with nests built of twigs, grass and excrement.
- Incubation period is 54 days with parents sharing incubation duties.
Wild: Large dead animals, eating only the flesh and intestines.
Captivity: Bird of prey diet, rats, mice and chicks.
- Very social birds.
- Usually nest in loose colonies of up to 100 pairs, but have been seen in colonies up to 1,000 pairs.
- Colonies are found in open, arid areas.
- Prefers open areas, since they hunt for carcasses using sight, not smell.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Distinguished by a slender, relatively weak beak and a long goose-like neck of even thickness.
- Tail is rounded.
- Ruff is found only on the back of the neck and consists of dense quill and down feathers.
- Circling motion in the sky is an alert to other vultures that a carcass has been spotted.
- A group of vultures can devour an antelope carcass in 20 minutes.
Endangered, populations in decline due to human encroachment and habitat destruction.