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Egyptian Vulture

Egyptian Vulture
Photo Information
Copyright: Anil Purohit (purohit) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 16 W: 12 N: 82] (787)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-11-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: panasonic DMC FZ30
Exposure: f/8, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): The Heaven of Black-bucks -- Tal Chhapar Sanctuary [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-08-29 3:59
Viewed: 3258
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This shot taken at Tal Chhapar Black-buck Sanctuary.
The Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) is a small Old World vulture, found widely distributed from southwestern Europe and northern Africa to southern Asia. It is the only living member of the genus Neophron. It has sometimes also been known as the White Scavenger Vulture or Pharaoh's Chicken. Like other vultures it soars on thermals and the underwing black and white pattern and wedge tail make it distinctive. It sometimes uses stones to break the eggs of birds such as ostriches, making it one of the few birds that make use of tools. Some populations in the temperate zone are migratory while tropical populations are relatively sedentary. Populations of this species have declined in the 20th Century and some island populations are particularly endangered.v
The adult plumage is white, with black flight feathers in the wings. The white plumage however usually appears soiled due to the habits of the birds. The bill is slender and long and the tip of the upper mandible is hooked. The nostril is an elongated horizontal slit. The feathers on the neck are long and form a hackle. The wings are pointed with the third primary being the longest. The tail is wedge shaped. The claws are long and straight and the 3rd and 4th toes are slightly webbed at the base. The bill is black in the nominate population but is pale or yellowish in the smaller Indian ginginianus, but this variation may need further study. The facial skin idds yellow and crop is unfeathered] Young birds are blackish or chocolate brown with black and white patches
The adult Egyptian Vulture measures about 85 cm from the point of the beak to the extremity of the tail feathers and around 1.7 metre between the tips of the wings. It weighs about 2 kilograms although birds of the subspecies majorensis average 2.4 kilograms, about 18% heavier than birds from Iberia.
Egyptian Vultures are widely distributed and may be found in southern Europe, in northern Africa, and in western and South Asia. Their habitat is mainly in the dry plains and nest mainly in arid and rocky hill regions. It is a rare vagrant in Sri Lanka.] Vagrants are sometimes found further north in Europe and in South Africa.] European populations have been recorded migrating south into Africa about 3500 to 5500 km, sometimes covering nearly 500 km in a single day. A bird that bred in France migrated south only in its third year. Italian birds cross over through Sicily and into Tunisia over the islands of Marettimo and Pantelleria.
Behaviour and ecology
This species is often seen soaring in thermals often with other scavengers. They feed on a range of food including mammal faeces (especially human]), insects in dung, carrion as well as vegetable matter and sometimes small live prey. Studies suggest that feeding on mammalian (in this case, ungulate) faeces helps in obtaining carotenoid pigments responsible for the bright yellow and orange facial skin. They are usually silent but near the nest they make high-pitched mewing or hissing notes
They roost communally and nests are often traditionally used year after year. Birds are however usually seen singly or in pairs. They are socially monogamous and pair bonds may be maintained for more than one breeding season. Extra-pair copulation with neighbouring birds is however noted and adult males tend to stay close to the female before and during the egg laying period. The nest sites include cliffs, buildings as well as trees. Unusual nest sites such as on the ground have been recorded in N. p. ginginianus and N. p. majorensis. The nesting season is February to April in India. Both parents incubate and the two eggs hatch after about 42 days The second chick may hatch after an interval of from 3o 5 days or more. The longer the interval, the more likely is thedeath of the second chick due to starvation In areas where nests are close to each other, young birds may sometimes move to neighbouring nests to obtain food. In the Spanish population, young fledge and leave the nest after 90 to 110 days. Young birds disperse from their nest site and birds in Spain have been recorded to move nearly 500 km away from their nest site. The full adult plumage is attained in the fourth or fifth year. In captivity, birds have been known to live for up to 37 years.Healthy adults do not have any predators but mortality from powerlines, pollution and poisoning have been noted. Young birds have been known to be taken by Golden Eagles, Eagle Owls and Red Fox. Birds falling off the cliffs may be picked up by Jackals.
The nominate population, especially in Africa is well-known for their use of stones as tools. When a large egg, such as that of an ostrich or bustard is located, the bird approaches it with a large pebble held in the bill and tosses it by standing near the egg and swinging the neck down. The operation is repeated until the egg cracks from the blows This behaviour has not been recorded in N. p. ginginianus Tests with hand-reared and wild birds suggest that the behaviour is not learnt by observation and is shown by naive birds once they associate eggs with food. They show a strong preference for rounded pebbles rather than jagged rocks.] Bulgarian birds have been observed to use twigs to roll up and gather strands of wool that they make use of in their nest lining

marhowie, marius-secan, Dis. Ac., haraprasan, rommel has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Good details & pose/POV Anil.
The white plumage is a bit OE, and some NR would improve this IMHO.
Would like to see it less centered if possible too..

  • Great 
  • GaryT Gold Star Critiquer [C: 102 W: 7 N: 236] (160)
  • [2010-08-29 7:58]

This is very nice -- effective composition, beautiful sky. Gary

Hello Anil,
Wonerful capture with very nice details and superb composition.
Nice details and lovely contrast with the blue sky. Perfect shot.

Hello Anil,

another great image from you with good pov and details.
The wings looka a little overexposed on my monitor?
Fine natural colours.


Hola Anil

Precioso Alimoche, de colores estupendos, apreciandose su fea cabeza perfectamente, una imagen muy elegante del ave. Perfecta contraste con el fondo azul y perfecta nitidez.

Un saludo de Antonio

Ciao Anil, great capture of beautiful vulture, wonderful contrast against blue ky, good light and colors, excellent sharpness and fine detsils, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Anil,
A lovely capture of this beautiful Egyptian Vulture. I think the portion below the neck is a little overexposed. But the details are very good. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • rommel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 446 W: 0 N: 287] (3628)
  • [2010-09-01 10:49]

Hi Anil,
Your clarity and contrast is unbeatable.Exposure and sharpness to me is the essence of a phenomenal portrait which you have captured to perfection.

Hi Anil,
This is an excellent shot with very nice colors, sharpness, and details. Well done & TFS.

  • Great 
  • ankit (8)
  • [2010-09-03 18:03]

Hi Anil
This is an excellent shot with very nice colors, sharpness, and details. Well done.

  • Great 
  • bipin (2)
  • [2010-09-08 1:58]

Hello Anil,
This is an excellent shot with very nice colors, sharpness, and details. Well done & TFS.

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