Lappet-Faced Vulture

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Identification:

95–105 cm, wing-span 255–290 cm
Bare pink head and neck – covered with obvious skin folds (lappets)
Heavy bill
Adult:
Dark brown plumage
Brown and white ruff
White thighs
Patches of white body down
White bar on leading edge of underwing (African species) but may be less noticeable Middle Eastern birds
Juvenile:
Dark brown lappets
Blackish flight feathers
In flight:
Secondaries are broad and pointy providing a “saw-tooth” trailing edge of the wing
Tail shows a similar structure

Habitat:

Arid steppes, deserts and mountain areas.

Behaviour:

They scavenge at carcasses in ones and twos and only occasionally in larger numbers. They dominate other vultures at carcasses.

Flight:

Majestic. Glides and soars on flat wings. When perched on tree, has a rather level posture with head up and held back between or above shoulders; when on ground, body more upright. Walks freely.

Diet:

Feeds on carcasses. Will also eat stranded fish, Flamingo eggs and nestlings.

Breeding:

Loosely colonial in some areas, solitary breeder in others, nest is built in the top of an acacia or on a cliff ledge.

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