More
    Categories

    Cinereous vulture

    Related Articles

    Overview

    The Cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) also known as the Monk Vulture and Eurasian Black Vulture, is the largest bird of prey of Southern Europe and the Middle East. It looks very similar to the American turkey vulture.

    Both birds have evolved featherless, bald heads and necks that allow them to push their heads into rotting carcasses without fouling their body feathers. Both species have also evolved extremely acidic stomachs to protect them from bacterial poisoning in eating carrion. They even have similar behaviors.

    Feeding

    The black vultures spend much time in flight searching for food. They gather at medium to large carcasses with other vultures, over which they dominate. They are less social than other species, and usually only one will feed at a time. They prefer open areas, especially dry meadows, and grassland, as well as open forest and scrub-covered hillside, always in undisturbed, remote areas and usually with surrounding plains.

    Posture

    This vulture can be seen perched upright, head sunk between shoulders, or, when alert, raised to reveal long dense ruffs, cliffs, rocks, boulders, or trees. The Monk vulture walks and lumbers with ample wings that entirely conceal tail and much of body. Sexes are alike.

    In some countries (Pakistan), the Eurasian black vulture populations have been affected by trapping for zoo trade.

    Video Credits: David Horsley
    Image Credits: Koshy Koshy

    References:

    1. William S. Clark, N. John Schmitt – A Field Guide To The Raptors Of Europe, The Middle East, And North Africa
    2. George R. McGhee – Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful
    3. David A. Christie, James Ferguson-Lees – Raptors Of The World

    Categories

    Other Topics

    Australian Shepherd

    History & Overview The Australian Shepherd was developed by herdsmen from Australia who came to North America in...

    Norwegian Buhund

    History & Overview The Norwegian Buhund, also known as Norsk Buhund, has been kept by Norwegian farmers for...

    Ragdoll

    History & Overview The name aptly describes this docile cat's most renowned characteristic - its propensity to lie...

    Basset Fauve de Bretagne (Fawn Brittany Basset)

    History & Overview This little basset (12.5 - 15.5 inches at the shoulder) has the same qualities as...

    Ardennes Cattle Dog (Bouvier des Ardennes)

    Overview The Ardennes Cattle Dog, also known as Bouvier des Ardennes, was called the cowdog in the Belgian...