Wild Birds

Himalayan Griffon Vultures

The Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Gyps himalayensis, is an Old World vulture in the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards, and hawks. It is closely related to the European Griffon Vulture, G. fulvus.

Distribution / Range

Adults are 103-110 cm (41-43 inches) long, have a wingspan of 260-289 cm (102-114 inches) across the wings, and weigh 8-12 kg (18-26.4 lbs). They are the second largest Old World vulture, behind only the Cinereous Vulture in size.

Closeup Image of Himalayan Griffon Vultures
Closeup Image of Himalayan Griffon Vultures

The Himalayan Griffon Vulture is a typical vulture, with a bald white head, very broad wings, and short tail feathers. It is even larger than the European Griffon Vulture. It has a white neckline and a yellow bill. The whitish body and wing coverts contrast with the dark flight feathers.

Breeding / Distribution

It breeds on crags in mountains in the Himalayas and Tibet, laying a single egg. Birds may form loose colonies. The population is mostly resident. These birds often move in flocks.

Diet / Feeding

Like other vultures it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of animals, which it finds by soaring over open areas and mountains.

This vulture grunts and hisses at roosts or when feeding on carrion.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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