tony volker

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Bearded Vulture. (Gypaetus barbatus)

Look at the majesticness that is this bird. IT’S SO GRAND.

Let’s talk about how kick-ass the bearded vulture is.First up, the natural diet of these birds is BONES. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah, bones, but small ones right?”

NO. THIS BIRD WILL PICK UP MASSIVE FREAKING BONES, FLY UP INTO THE SKY AND REPEATEDLY DROP THEM UNTIL THEY BREAK. THIS BIRD IS SO PUNK ROCK.

Secondly, you see that beautiful red colouring in the second picture?Makeup.

MAKEUP.

According to biologist Antoni Margalida of Spain’s Bearded Vulture Study and Protection Group, “It is the only bird that utilizes cosmetics to dye its plumage.” At about age 7 (the vulture equivalent of a teenager), the birds begin to use red, iron-rich mud pits to dye their naturally white breast, neck, and head feathers. 

It’s believed that the colour is used as a status symbol. Females, the dominant sex, are brighter than males. Colour intensity also grows with age. They will also handle conflict by struttin’ their stuff and displaying their snazzy new feather do in the process.

So this is a bird with a 2.5m wide wingspan, a diet that is 85-90% bones and LIKES TO WEAR MAKE UP.

If you don’t think they are the greatest thing ever then get out of my face.

Also known as: Lammergeier.

Images; Tony Heald, Volker Wurst.