Thursday, 11 June 2015

Eurasian Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus)

Adult Eurasian Black Vulture (Aegypius monachusat El Pardo, Spain - April 2016

Local Name (Spain): Buitre Negro ("Black Vulture")
OTHER NAMES: Monk Vulture, Cinereous Vulture
Weight: 6-13kg
Length: 98-120cm
Wingspan: 2.5-3.1m
NO UK STATUS Red List: Near Threatened 

The Eurasian Black Vulture (or whichever name you choose to call it by) is a very impressive bird by a lot of metrics - it's enormous for a start - larger than any raptor in the Old World and only exceeded by the Condors in the new.  As such, it has the only wingspan of any bird I have seen thus far to exceed 3 metres, and is in the region of the top 10 for both heaviest and largest wingspan of all flying birds.  Not only that, but they have been recorded flying at spectacular heights of nearly 7 miles - one of the highest flying of all birds.  Their European stronghold is in Spain, but the bulk of their range is Central Asia.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Aegypius
Subspecies: None - monotypic

 - Sighting Locations -
SPAIN - Locally fairly common resident
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Several seen around bundant at Valdetorres Del Jarama and Patones
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Several seen at each of El Pardo and Monfrague National Park.

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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