Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Egyptian Vulture

Neophron percnopterus
Egyptian Vultures are relatively small Vultures that can be found in parts of Europe, North Africa, and Asia. They are predominantly white, with bald faces and dark flight feathers.

Though carrion does make up a large chunk of their meals, Egyptian Vultures also feed on live prey, including insects, reptiles, and small mammals. They have also figured out how to crack open bird eggs with rocks, and will feast on those as well. These Vultures are sight hunters, and will soar about looking for prey. They also take cues from other Vulture species; when those birds dive down to eat, the Egyptian Vulture follows suit.

Egyptian Vultures mate for life, and they typically return to the same nest year after year. Two eggs are laid at a time, which make up almost 10% of the female's body mass.

The species is currently at risk, due to a whole slew of reasons. Habitat loss, hunting, poisoning, turbine collisions, collection for traditional medicines, and Avian pox have all played a part. There are probably about 40,000 adult birds in the world.

IUCN Status : Endangered
Location : Europe, North Africa, parts of Asia
Size : Length up to 28in (70cm), Wingspan up to 5.6ft (1.7m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Accipitriformes
Family : Accipitridae -- Genus : Neophron -- Species : N. percnopterus

1 comment:

  1. It almost looks hawkish. Very unlike the vultures I am familiar with.