Deep Dive: Cinereous Vulture

by OBDK on August 29, 2022
Cinereous Vultures are another species of Old World vultures. They stand at about 3.5 feet tall, with a wingspan of up to 9.5 feet, and they weigh between 15 and 26 pounds!1 Adults have dark brown or black feathers on their bodies and have blue-gray skin.2 Meanwhile, young Cinereous Vultures have black feathers and their skin is pink.1
These birds also have strong beaks that are made for tearing through carcasses of dead animals. Just like other vultures, they help clean up the environment by eating dead animals. They’ll mostly go after large mammals.1
Cinereous Vultures can be found in many countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. They tend to be seen near mountains and forests, as well as semi-desert habitats. When it’s time to reproduce, they’ll build large nests, usually at the tops of trees or cliffs.2 They are monogamous when they mate.3 They’ll use their nest over and over again annually and females usually only lay one egg.1
These vultures have faced difficulties in their history. Due to a reduction in their food, poisoning of wildlife that they then eat, shooting, and loss of habitat, these vultures have disappeared from their historic range in a variety of places.2&3
However, efforts have been made to help them and there has been some success in bringing them back. For example, efforts like creating breeding sites, fighting against poisoning, and setting out extra food for them have helped restore these vultures.1&3 Spain is at the top of the list, and the country has over 2,000 breeding pairs of Cinereous Vultures. Similar success has been achieved in France and Greece.3 
Check it out: read more about the role vultures play in our environment!