White-headed Vulture in "Volerie des Aigles" in "Chateau de
Kintzheim", Alsace, France.
Witkopgier in "Volerie des Aigles" in "Chateau de Kintzheim", Elzas, Frankrijk.
The White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) is an Old World vulture endemic to Africa. This vulture has an
extremely large range in sub-Saharan Africa. It has declined rapidly
in parts of West Africa since the early 1940s and in southern Africa
is now largely confined to protected areas.
With its bare, pink face and bright orange-red bill with a peacock blue base, this is one of Africa's most colourful vultures. The white-headed vulture gets its English name from the downy, white feathers on its head which give it an angular appearance.
The bright facial colours contrast sharply with the black body, tail, wings and high ruff around its neck. The belly and thighs are white and its legs are pale pink.
Like other vultures, the white-headed vulture has a number of adaptations for feeding on the carcasses of large animals, but is also capable of killing small prey.
They occur singly or in pairs and are often the first to arrive at a carcass.
The strong bill is capable of tearing flesh and the sharp, curved talons can grasp and pierce prey. Their large, broad wings can carry them for hours as they search for food.
This is a medium-sized vulture, 72-85 cm in length and 207-230 cm in wingspan.
Females weigh weigh around 4.7 kg: more than males, they weigh 4 kg or less.
Info: Wikipedia, ARKive and www.voleriedesaigles.com
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