Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture, Vale Gier, Gänsegeier, Grifo-comum, Buitre Leonado

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.           Griffon Vulture sound

Griffon Vulture, Vale Gier, Gänsegeier, Grifo-comum, Buitre Leonado

The Griffon Vulture is 93–122 cm (37–48 in) long with a 2.3–2.8 m (7.5–9.2 ft) wingspan. In the nominate race the males weigh 6.2 to 10.5 kg (14 to 23 lb) and females typically weigh 6.5 to 11.3 kg (14 to 25 lb), while in the Indian subspecies (G. f. fulvescens) the vultures average 7.1 kg (16 lb). Extreme adult weights have been reported from 4.5 to 15 kg (9.9 to 33 lb), the latter likely a weight attained in captivity. Hatched naked, it is a typical Old World vulture in appearance, with a very white head, very broad wings and short tail feathers. It has a white neck ruff and yellow bill. The buff body and wing coverts contrast with the dark flight feathers.

Like other vultures, it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals which it finds by soaring over open areas, often moving in flocks. It establishes nesting colonies in cliffs that are undisturbed by humans while coverage of open areas and availability of dead animals within dozens of kilometers of these cliffs is high. It grunts and hisses at roosts or when feeding on carrion.

The maximum lifespan recorded for the Griffon Vulture is 41.4 years, for a specimen in captivity.

It breeds on crags in mountains in southern Europe, north Africa, and Asia, laying one egg. Griffon Vultures may form loose colonies. The population is mostly resident. Juveniles and immature individuals may migrate far or embark on long-distance movements.

Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Kransaasvoël
Asturian: La Utre
Bulgarian: beloglav lešojad
Breton: gup gell
Catalan: comú, Voltor comú, Voltor lleonat, Voltor negre
Catalan (Balears): Voltor lleonat
Valencian: Voltor negre
Czech: Sup belohlavý, sup bìlohlavý
Welsh: Fultur, Fwltur
Danish: Gåsegrib
German: Gaensegeier, Gänsegeier
English: Common Griffon, Common White-headed Griffon Vulture, Eurasian Griffon, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, European Griffon, Griffon Vulture, White-headed Griffon Vulture
Esperanto: ansergrifo, Vulturo
Spanish: Buitre común, Buitre Leonado, leonado
Estonian: Kaeluskotkas
Basque: Sai arre, Sai arrea, Voltor comú
Finnish: Hanhikorppikotka
Faroese: Gammur
French: Vautour fauve, Vautour griffon, Vauture fauve
Frisian: feale gier
Irish: Bultúr, Bultúr Gríofa
Galician: Voitre, Voltor comú
Croatian: bjeloglavi sup
Hungarian: Fakó keselyû, Fakókeselyü
Icelandic: Gæsagammur, gammur
Italian: avvoltoio, Avvoltoio grifone, Grifone, Grifone eurasiatico
Japanese: shiroerihagewashi, Shiroerihage-washi
Latin: Gyps fulvus
Lithuanian: Grifas, Paléasis grifas, Palšasis grifas
Latvian: Baltgalvas grifs, Kalnu lija
Macedonian: beloglav mršojadec
Maltese: avultun prim
Dutch: Vale Gier
Norwegian: Gåsegribb
Portuguese: abutre cinzento, grifo, Grifo-comum
Romansh: tschess cularin
Romanian: Vultur sur
Russian: Belogolovy Sip
Sardinian: Bentruxiu, Murru, Untruxu
Slovak: sup bielohlavý, Sup biely
Slovenian: beloglavi jastreb
Albanian: Shkaba, Zhgaba
Serbian: Beloglavi sup, bjeloglavi sup, sup bjeloglavi
Swedish: Gåsgam
Turkish: Akbaba, kyzyl akbaba

 

 

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Guided Birdwatching in the Alentejo region of Portugal