Deep Dive: White-headed Vulture

by OBDK on November 21, 2022

White-headed vultures, Trigonoceps occipitalis, are found in Sub-Saharan Africa – usually in wildlife preserves or national parks.1&2 They are labeled as critically endangered.1 They stand around 30 inches tall, weigh 9-10 pounds, and have a wingspan of between 80 and 90 inches.2


These vultures are considered medium-sized. While they tend to arrive at a carcass first, they don’t dominate at feeding sites.3 These vultures aren’t super social. While other vultures will nest in colonies, White-headed vultures tend to nest away from others.2


White-headed vultures have white heads and colorful faces, but when they’re young, their heads are dark. Females lay one egg during breeding season, and don’t lay an egg every year. They often are still caring for their offspring the following year, and so won’t lay a new egg.3


Unlike other vultures, these birds won’t just eat carrion but may hunt other animals. They’ll go after lizards, insects, and even fish. Because they’ll often be on the outskirts of feeding sites of bigger animals, they’ll find smaller carrion to go after where there isn’t a huge group of vultures eating.2


Read more about vultures and other birds in our deep dives on our blog!

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