Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus)
Griffon Vulture, Spain, May 2000 - click for larger image

The Griffon Vulture is one of the largest raptors and has a distinctive silhouette with a bulky, barrel-shaped body underslung from the wings which are held in a very shallow V when soaring and with the "fingers" widely spread.

Griffon Vulture, Spain, May 2000 - click for larger image The head is small and pale and the tail is short. Both upperparts and underparts are bicoloured with a lighter leading edge.

They live in a variety of open country habitats but require cliffs and thermals for their soaring flight. They are only seen in flight once the day has warmed sufficiently to give them some uplift.

They feed on carrion and cooperate in the search for food which, when found, rapidly attracts large groups of Griffon Vultures.

Griffon Vulture, Mount Youchtas, Crete, November 2002 - click for larger image They nest in colonies on ledges or shallow caves in mountain cliffs as seen in photo 4.

There is an illustration in HBW, Page 124.

Griffon Vulture, Spain, May 2000 - click for larger image
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