King vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)

The king vulture is a large bird found in Central and South America. It is a member of the New World vulture family Cathartidae. This vulture lives predominantly in tropical lowland forests stretching from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. Its overall length ranges from 67–81 cm and its wingspan is 1,2–2 m.This vulture is a scavenger and it often makes the initial cut into a fresh carcass. It also displaces smaller New World vulture species from a carcass. The king vulture eats anything from cattle carcasses to beached fish and dead lizards. Principally a carrion eater, there are isolated reports of it killing and eating injured animals, newborn calves and small lizards. King vultures have been known to live for up to 30 years in captivity. It is non-migratory and it generally lives alone or in small family groups.

photo credits: Eric Kilby, Olaf Oliviero Riemer, jon hanson, at-web, sandiegozoo


Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus)

The Egyptian vulture is a small Old World vulture and the only member of the genus Neophron. It is widely distributed; the Egyptian vulture is found from southwestern Europe and northern Africa to India. There are three subspecies. The adult’s plumage is white, with black flight feathers in the wings. Wild birds usually appear soiled with a rusty or brown shade to the white plumage, derived from mud or iron-rich soil. Egyptian vultures feed mainly on carrion but are opportunistic and will prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They also feed on the eggs of other birds, breaking larger ones by tossing a large pebble onto them. The use of tools is rare in birds and apart from the use of a pebble as a hammer, Egyptian vultures also use twigs to roll up wool for use in their nest. Egyptian vultures that breed in the temperate regions migrate south in winter while tropical populations are relatively sedentary. It is considered as “Endangered” by the IUCN red list.

photo credits: wiki, wiki, wiki, wiki