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IDENTIFICATION.   The White-backed Vulture, Gyps africanus, is Africa's commonest vulture. The body plumage is tawny brown in colour with the white back being visible when the vulture is in flight. The eyes are dark and the prominent bill is black. In common with other vultures the head and neck is featherless allowing the bird to feed without getting messy.

Can be confused with Rüppell's Griffon Vulture, Gyps rueppellii and the related Indian White-backed Vulture, Gyps bengalensis.

IN FLIGHT.  Vultures rely on soaring flights to find food, using the large wingspan to find warm thermal updrafts.

DISTRIBUTION.  South of the Sahara, Somalia, Sudan, Namibia, South Africa and the. Preferring Savannas and plains, open woodland and cultivated areas.

WHEN SEEN. All year round.

FOOD. Carrion. Occasional small animals.

BREEDING. April. 1 egg laid in a large stick nest in a tree, sometimes in a colony. The egg is incubated for approximately 6 weeks. Fledging takes place at about 19 weeks of age.

SIZE. 190-100cm (35-40 inches)

WINGSPAN. 200-240cm (78-94 inches)

WEIGHT. 5.5kg (10lb 10oz)

CALL.  Hisses.


Frequently used by experienced Falconers in displays.

Falconry marks

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