The Cape Vulture… The house girl of the veld…

the Cape Vulture, (Gyps coprotheres), It is endemic to Southern Africa, and is found mainly in South Africa, Lesotho. Botswana and in some parts of northern Namibia. It nests on cliffs and lays one egg per year.

This large vulture is dark brown except for the pale wing coverts. The adult is paler than the juvenile, and its under wing coverts can appear almost white at a distance. The average length is about 96–115 cm (38–45 in) with a wingspan of 2.26–2.6 m (7.4–8.5 ft.) and a body weight of 7–11 kg (15–24 lb.). They are on average the largest raptor in Africa.

The two prominent bare skin patches at the base of the neck,  are thought to be temperature sensors and used for detecting the presence of thermals.

The species is listed by the IUCN as "Vulnerable", the major problems it faces being poisoning, disturbance at breeding colonies and power line electrocution. The current population is estimated at 8,000.

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18 thoughts on “The Cape Vulture… The house girl of the veld…

  1. Love the “house girl of the veld” description. Great photos again. They have quite large eyes for a bird, but I guess they need to be able to see what they’re eating. 😉

    • I can sit and watch these raptors fly for absolute hours, they are the most graceful, conservative fliers around. The feathers that waver in the wind testing thermals and up drafts etc. I actually flew in a micro-lite circling a few of them rising on a thermal.. it was gob smackingly beautiful…

    • They are and have been such a persecuted raptor, and all they do is clean up the veld of dead animals remains… many vulture feeding stations have been set up now to ensure their survival, I quite often visit these just to watch these graceful fliers…

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