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**500 again**

**500 again**
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/4.8, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-11-07 6:15
Viewed: 4012
Points: 72
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Dear Friends,
This is again my 500th posting. They have REMOVED my first 500th posting. It was a collage of my four most appreciated photos. So I was searching why this was happened and I found it in the Guidelines: “ Identical photos (unmodified or not) may not be re-posted except through the 'Post to Workshop' or 'Re-Post' mode”.
I think this is the reason. Excuses to all friend who have given the critiques to it.
So here I am again with my 500th posting :-)

The King Vulture, Sarcoramphus papa, is a large bird found in Central and South America. It is a member of the New World vulture family Cathartidae. This vulture lives predominantly in tropical lowland forests stretching from southern Mexico to northern Argentina, though some believe that William Bartram's Painted Vulture of Florida may be of this species. It is the only surviving member of the genus Sarcoramphus, though fossil members are known.

It is large and predominantly white, with gray to black ruff, flight, and tail feathers. Its head and neck are bald, with the skin color varying, including yellow, orange, blue, purple, and red. The King Vulture has a very noticeable yellow fleshy caruncle on its beak. This vulture is a scavenger and it often makes the initial cut into a fresh carcass. It also displaces smaller New World vulture species from a carcass. King Vultures have been known to live for up to 30 years in captivity.

King Vultures were popular figures in the Mayan codices as well as in local folklore and medicine. Though currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, they are decreasing in number, due primarily to habitat loss.

Taxonomy and systematics
The King Vulture was originally described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae as Vultur papa. It was reassigned to the genus Sarcoramphus in 1805 by André Marie Constant Duméril.
There are two theories on how the King Vulture earned the "King" part of its common name. The first is that the name is a reference to its habit of displacing smaller vultures from a carcass and eating its fill while they wait. An alternative theory reports that the name is derived from Mayan legends, in which the bird was a king who served as a messenger between humans and the gods. This bird was also known as the "White Crow" by the Spanish in Paraguay.

The adult King Vulture is the most strikingly colored of the New World vultures. It is predominantly white, though its ruff, flight, and tail feathers range from gray to an opalescent black. The white plumage also has a slight rose-yellow tinge to it. It has a thick, strong bill that, whilst the most powerful among the New World vultures, is quite small compared to that of other large birds of prey. This bill has a hooked tip and a sharp cutting edge. The bird has broad wings and a short, broad, and square tail. Its eyes are straw-colored and it has keen eyesight. Unlike some New World vultures, the King Vulture lacks eyelashes. The King Vulture also has a highly noticeable yellow fleshy crest on its orange and black bill; this caruncle does not fully form until the bird’s fourth year. It also has gray legs and long, thick claws. The vulture is minimally sexually dimorphic, with no difference in plumage and little in size between males and females The juvenile vulture has a dark bill and eyes, and a downy, gray neck that soon begins to turn the orange of an adult. Younger vultures are a slate gray overall, and, while they look similar to the adult by the third year, they do not completely molt into adult plumage until they are approximately five or six years of age.

The vulture’s head and neck are featherless as an adaptation for hygiene, though there are black bristles on parts of the head; this lack of feathers prevents bacteria from the carrion it eats from ruining its feathers and exposes the skin to the sterilizing effects of the sun. The skin on the neck and head can be many colors, including yellow, orange, blue, purple, and red. The bird's skin is also wrinkled near the ear and back of the neck.

Excluding the two species of condors, the King Vulture is the largest of the New World vultures. Its overall length ranges from 67–81 centimeters and its wingspan is 1.2–2 meters . Its weight ranges from 2.7–4.5 kilograms.

Distribution and habitat
The King Vulture inhabits an estimated 14 million square kilometers between southern Mexico and northern Argentina. In South America, it does not live west of the Andes, except in western Ecuador, north-western Colombia and far north-western Venezuela. It primarily inhabits undisturbed tropical lowland forests as well as savannas and grasslands with these forests nearby. It is often seen near swamps or marshy places in the forests. This bird is often the most numerous or only vulture present in primary lowland forests in its range, but in the Amazon rainforest it is typically outnumbered by the Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, while typically outnumbered by the Lesser Yellow-headed, Turkey and American Black Vulture in more open habitats. King Vultures generally do not live above 1200 meters. They inhabit the emergent forest level, or above the canopy.

Ecology and behavior
The King Vulture is an expert glider, sometimes soaring for hours without flapping its wings. While in flight, its wings are held dihedral, or flat with slightly raised tips, and from a distance the vulture can appear to be headless while in flight. Its wing beats are deep and strong. Despite its size and gaudy coloration, this vulture is quite inconspicuous when it is perched in trees. While perched, it holds its head lowered and thrust forward. It is non-migratory and, unlike the Turkey, Lesser Yellow-headed and American Black Vulture, it generally lives alone or in small family groups. However, it can gather in large groups at a carcass. King Vultures have lived up to 30 years in captivity, though their lifespan in the wild is unknown. This vulture uses urohidrosis, defecating on its legs, in order to lower its body temperature. Despite its bill and large size, it is relatively unaggressive at a kill and will normally back down rather than fight. The King Vulture lacks a voice box, though it can make low croaking noises and wheezing sounds. Its only natural predators are snakes, which will prey upon the vulture's eggs and young, and large cats such as jaguars, which may surprise and kill an adult vulture at a carcass.

The King Vulture feeds solely on carrion and, unlike some New World vultures, is not known to kill sick or dying animals for food. It often eats stranded fish along river banks, but does not come to village refuse dumps for food. Though it has keen eyesight which can help it locate food, there are two theories regarding how it specifically finds carrion. Some argue that it uses its sense of smell to find animal carcasses.

Others argue that it does not have a sense of smell, and instead follows the smaller Turkey Vultures and Greater Yellow-headed Vultures, which do have a sense of smell, to a carcass. A recent study demonstrated that the King Vulture could find carrion in the forest without the aid of other vultures, suggesting that it locates food using a sense of smell. The King Vulture primarily eats carrion found in the forest, though it is known to venture onto nearby savannas in search of food. Once it has found a carcass, the King Vulture displaces the other vultures because of its large size and strong bill. However, when it is at the same kill as the larger Andean Condor, the King Vulture always defers to it.

Using its bill to tear, it makes the initial cut in a fresh carcass. This allows the smaller, weaker-beaked vultures, which can not open the hide of a carcass, access to the carcass after the King Vulture has fed. The vulture’s tongue is rasp-like, which allows it to pull flesh off of the carcass’s bones. Generally, it only eats the skin and harder parts of the tissue of its meal.

An adult King Vulture sexually matures when it is about four or five years old. The birds mainly breed during the dry season. The vultures give an elaborate courting display in which the pair circle each other on the ground while flapping their wings and making loud wheezing noises and snorting sounds while mating. King Vultures mate for life and generally lay a single unmarked white egg in its nest in a hollow in a tree. To ward off potential predators, the vultures keep their nests foul-smelling. Both parents incubate the egg for the 32 to 38 days before it hatches. If the egg is lost, it will often be replaced after about six weeks. Young are altricial, or helpless at birth. The chick is born featherless, but quickly gains some black down feathers. The chicks do not molt into their white adult plumage until they reach five or six years of age. When they are first born, the chicks are fed with meat brought to them directly from their parents’ claws, but eventually they are fed by regurgitation.

This bird is a species of Least Concern to the IUCN, with an estimated range of 14,000,000 square kilometers and between 10,000 and 100,000 wild individuals. However, there is evidence that suggests a decline in population, though it is not significant enough to cause it to be listed. This decline is due primarily to habitat destruction and poaching

marius-secan, ramthakur, boreocypriensis, mwmod99, Argus, siggi, Mamagolo2, loot, red45, mkurtel, cirano, bahadir, anemone, rousettus, jusninasirun, Miss_Piggy, anel, Pitoncle, uleko, Noisette, Heaven, eqshannon, CeltickRanger, jaycee, Dis. Ac., maurydv has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
Outstanding details and focus. Superb capture of this King Vulture with such
coloured had. Excellent composition and POV.

Congratulations on your 500th post, Peter, my neighbour! It is a pity they removed your earlier landmark picture. For me, it is a gain since I had not seen it and I am very pleased with the picture of the King vulture. :)
You have made a major contribution to TN through your high quality work and entertained and educated us through it.
This vulture looks funny yet elegant. What a colourful head it has got! The other features too look regal on it.
Thanks and wish you all the best for the next 500!

Ahhh... sorry that i heart your 500th posting was deleted based on the TOS Peter. Hope we do not live the same thing by the reason of coloured text and text size. Brrrr...
Anyway i Congratulate you once more for reaching this great mileston on TN MF!
This is also nice choice to celebrate this. Perfect presentation in all around. Once more... thanks a lot for all contributions to us and TN!
All the best!
Have a nice new week!


No matter what, let's celebrate again your number 500 here friend Peter. Thanks for your contribution to TN and hope to see in future more of your exiting memories captured with your camera. The presented specie is well shown with fine bright detail awesome sharpness and good natural colors. Bravo Peter! Have a great week my friend!
George Veltchev

Ciao Peter, again congratulations for your fantastic 500th post on TN, really a King this Volture with splendid colors, excellent sharpness, wonderful composition, I like a lot, bravo my friend, ciao Silvio

Ha Peter,

Weederom Gefeliciteerd met je 500ste post
dit maal met een hele mooie koningsgier uit Duitsland
Prachtige kleuren en scherpte (pas op niet te veel verscherpen)
Goede compo, POV en pose

TFS Thijs

hallo Peter
nogmaal gefeliciteerd met je 500ste foto op TN
deze is super mooi met die kleuren en veel details met goed van scherpte
super plaatje
groetjes lou

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-11-07 8:51]

Hello Peter,
What a pity!
You made a fine collage of shots to mark your 500th posting.
However this shot of a King Vulture once again shows the high technical standard of your images, together with the informative note that is a useful read.
Once again congratulations and best wishes,
have a good week,

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-11-07 8:56]

Hello Peter,
thus we celebrate the two time its 500 post! A very nice image of the King Vulture,the photo has a superb composition, sharpness and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.Best regards Siegfried

Hello Peter,
Rules are rules. Does not matter and let's celebrate your 50th photo again. This is a magnificent vulture, never seen one like this before.
absolutely stunning. It's colorful head almost does not fit with the rest of it's body. Very well done and thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2010-11-07 11:13]

Hi Peter

Congratulations on 'both' occasions for reaching the milestones of 500 posts (chuckle)
and thanks for your visit to my mating Rhinos.

Vultures are generally perceived to be rather ugly (or at least less attractive) birds, but
this King Vulture can at any given day hold hands with some of the most beautiful and
colourful birds. I do believe it even outdoes the lovely White-headed Vulture from Africa.
A nice capture with good details and rich natural colour saturation.

Well done and TFS.
Take care and have a great week.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2010-11-07 11:16]

Hello Peter,

Congratulations for your 501st photo :-) Lots of work and so many beautifull pictures from exotic parts of our world. Like this one. Most people don't like vultures, but not me. This one isn't beautifull, really :-) But I like it anyway :-)

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-11-07 11:26]

Hi Peter,in your gallery of birds I have seen many strange things that I often wonder whether they are real or whether it is a joke .. ehhe,,this is fantastic! And what a perfect pic,impossible to make better.Thanks for share,have a nice week,Luciano.

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-11-07 12:04]

Hi Peter,
Again congratulations for your 500th post on TN.
An excellent bird and an excellent capture.Great colors and perfect sharp details.TFS.

Hello Peter,
A beautiful species, have a good shot, 500 photo congratulate ,have a good week, regards ,Murat

Hello Peter. Congrats again. Excellent shot of this beautiful bird with ice composition and details. i like the pose.
TFS and regards,

Ciao Peter. I've not word MF! Wonderful 501 like the 500th...! Impressive DOF and focused eye for the imponent coloured bird. Excelelnte contrast. TFS and soon.


Hi Peter. Wonderful photo of this cute king vulture:). The pose, details and composition are great. Congratulations on your 500th posting.
Best regards

Hello Peter
sorry for hearing about your previous post. I had seen it and it was a nice collage.
This is also great post to celebrate for your 5th milestone. congratulations on your 500th post, my friend. We have seen many great shots from your during this period. I wish you many hundred shots here from you. This is great capture of pretty vulture species from great POV and with great sharpness of focus.
Thanks for showing us this beautiful bird and thanks for sharing all posts. best wishes and have a good night

Hi Peter. Congratulations on 500 again :-) quite a feat considering all your uploads are fist class stuff.
This is a great bird shot with excellent perch and well defined details of the plumage. Thanks for sharing and best regards. Jusni

Hallo Peter
An outstanding image with super sharpness, vivid colours and awesome detail. Technical aspects is great and the image deserves all the praises given by my predecessors who have stopped by. I like the natural sunlight in the image, especially where it is shining on the head. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Beautoful bird, beautiful coulours, beautiful sharpness, beautiful picture!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-11-08 1:26]

Hello Peter,
Congratulations to have reached your 500th picture, even if you had to try twice..
Impressive and strange they are these King vultures, by their shape and colors. It has an amazing fleshy appendice on its breast! This one was standing model for you in Walsrode! It seems to wave with its wings:-)
Classical composition, fine presentation and an interesting note.
Have a nice week
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-11-08 1:46]

Hello Peter,
sorry to hear about your collage. Whatever, your splendid shot of the king vulture is so exciting. The colourful head is so special and definitely i have never seen it before.
Very nice contrast with the green leaves and the contrast is very well presented.
Congratulations for the 500th!


Bonjour Peter,
Très belle publication mais il est domage que pour fêter ta performance tu ais choisi un animal acclimaté pour ne pas dire en captivité.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-11-08 6:40]

Hello Peter,
Congratulations once more and I hope this one stays put! How mean to remove your last one! Anyway, this one of a majestic King Vulture is really great too! Keep on posting and thanks for all so far!
Many thanks and all the best wishes, Ulla

Hello PeterZ
congratulations for your 500th post on TN, you have also posted a vulture like me but this one have beautifuler colors and also a nice pose showing his strange head very well, wonderful color saturation and great sharpness
Have a good night

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2010-11-08 23:08]

Dear Peter!

Now, just lets hope that they won't remove them again... it would be again a terrible loss for TN! I congratulate you from my heart for your valuable contributions to this community. Once again, you show us what photographical quality is!

Kind regards


Il très bizarre, mais franchement original et magnifiquement photographié! Bravo!


Hello Peter,
this is a very good naturel coloured picture
great sharpness and good details

I cannot let this momentous occasion go by without a congratulations on such a perfect specimen to image Peter. Unusual appearance to this bird but well coloured as so many of yours are...very nice sir!

Hello Peter,
Congratulations for your 500th post! The details are sharp and the colours are wonderful.
Best regards,

hello Peter

congratulations for your 500th photo on TN,
excellent photo of this bird with amazing
head colours, the King Vulture, fine POV and
appropriate framing, wow what a eye and
beautiful eye-contact, excellent sharpness details,



  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-11-26 14:59]

Hi Peter,

I missed your collage but this amazing looking Vulture is a marvelous second choice for your 500th post. Congratulations on your milestone - I have enjoyed each and every one of your wonderful pictures. Te face is magnificent in profile with outstanding colors and details. I love the pose and setting. Here's to the next 500!


Hallo Peter,

Deze moet ik hebben gemist alhoewl ik zeker weet dat ik je 500ste heb becommnenteerd.
Nogmaals gefeliciteerd met deze post.
Schiet alweer lekker op.
Dit is ook een mooie foto.

groet Gert

Fantastic shot on the colorful vulture, details are in excelent clearity.
Happy New Year,

Hallo Peter,
during my absence on TK you celebrated your 500th post: CONGRATULATIONS; another of your fantastic portrait, a special colourful bird taken from an excellent POV, very good sharpness, nice composition
Best regards

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