Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)

OTHER NAMES: Pharoah's Chicken
Latin Etymology: Neophron (after a mythic trickster turned into a vulture) percnopterus ("dark winged")
Adult Egyptian Vulture (subspecies N. p. percnopterusat Monfrague National Park, Spain - April 2016

Featured Subspecies: Neophron percnopterus percnopterus
Weight: 1.5-2.4kg  /  Length: 52-56cm  /  Wingspan: 150-180cm
NO UK STATUS  IUCN Red List: Endangered

An example of drastic species decline; a bird book I have from the year I was born describes it as "the smallest and commonest of Europe's vultures" - now it is considered endangered by the IUCN after massive population declines across it's range.  Despite this, it still does have a huge range including a patchy distribution across the Mediterranean, a significant chunk of Central Asia, most of India and coast to Coast distribution across North Africa.  It's also probably one of the most distinctive looking vulture species: largely white plumage when landed with a bright yellow face, with the large black sections of the wings visible in flight and a distinctive arrow shaped tail.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Neophron
N. p. percnopterus, N. p. majorensis, N. p. ginginianus  

 - Sighting Locations -
SPAIN - Spanish - Alimoche ComĂșn - ("Common Vulture")
Scarce and Local Resident
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Several seen at Monfrague (2 individuals in flight, one on the nest)

Further Notes:
BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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