The Gyps vultures are a genus of Old World vultures in the bird family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks.
Representatives of this group are found throughout warmer parts of the Old World. (The Old World includes Africa, Asia, and Europe and surrounding islands).
These are the typical vultures, with bald head, broad wings and mainly dark plumage.
The characteristic featherless head is because a feathered head would become spattered with blood and other fluids, and thus be difficult to keep clean.
Diet / Feeding
They are large scavenging birds, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals.
Old World vultures find carcasses exclusively by sight.
- Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus
- Indian White-rumped Vulture, Gyps bengalensis
- Rüppell’s Vulture, Gyps rueppellii
- Indian Vulture, Gyps indicus – formerly Long-billed Vulture
- Slender-billed Vulture, Gyps tenuirostris – formerly included in G. indicus
- Himalayan Griffon Vulture Gyps himalayensis
- White-backed Vulture, Gyps africanus
- Cape Griffon, Gyps coprotheres
A prehistoric species is known only from fossil remains found in Middle to Late Pleistocene sites all over the central and eastern Mediterranean: Gyps melitensis.