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Vulture: White-headed Vulture

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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francoisd
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Vulture: White-headed Vulture

Unread postby francoisd » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:53 pm

White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis)

Other names:
Afrikaans: Witkopaasvoël
French: Vautour à tête blanche
German: Wollkopfgeier
Dutch: Witkopgier


White-headed Vultures occur singly or in pairs and are often the first to arrive at a carcass. Like the Lappet-faced Vulture they are able to eat skin, ligament and bones however, unlike the Lappet-faced Vulture they are "clean" feeders (ie they do not get blood on their feathers when they feed). The White-headed Vulture is the most-lightweight (in relation to its wingspan) of the African vultures and is therefore the most mobile and agile species. Because it is up and about early in the day, it is frequently the first to locate a carcass. Although they get to a kill first they tend to feed on scraps dropped by, or stolen from, other raptors. They take these to one side, eating them away from the main huddle. They also take stranded fish, termites and locusts when they can find them.

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Unread postby Jay » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:46 pm

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Unread postby Johann » Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:58 am

Juv. White-headed Vulture taken near Mopani, feeding on giraffe carcass.

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Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:26 am

We took this photo of a juvenile White-headed Vulture also during a Balule trip…..I only now realize how many of our vulture photos was taken in that area. :?

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Re: Vulture: White-headed Vulture

Unread postby Jock » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:23 am

A lovely picture Yolande Oelsen asked me to post for her.

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Re: Vulture: White-headed Vulture

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:54 am

Hi everyone

This photo of the White-headed vulture that Jock has posted for me, was taken at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehab centre in Klaserie. And I agree with everyone, this is quite a beautifull vulture ( if vultures can be beautifull)

I would however love to see one in Kruger.
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:05 pm

What is this dude? Spotted on the banks of the Letaba River last week - and I promise, I have tried to id him myself.
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby arks » Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:08 pm

Looks to me like it might be an immature whiteheaded vulture, DB. Nice photo! 8)
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby MarkWildDog » Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:46 am

From this photo i'd also say whiteheaded. But i think there is still a possibility for lappetfaced. If we could get more pics or a closer look on this photo- we could see if the white mantle streaks are present aswell as the bill colour? It is a bit tricky to go for whiteheaded without looking at these vitals. However the general whiteness of the bird does suggest whiteheaded. Also there seems to be a narrow white line between the flight feathers and wing coverts which definitely is characteristic of imm. whiteheadeds.

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:31 am

The vulture is an immature White-Headed Vulture. The white line on the under wings stretches the full length of the wing.

Lappet-Faced Vulture's white wing line sits higher up on the wing and does not stretch the full length of the wing.
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:48 am

DinkyBird wrote:Imagelarger view


The vulture is an immature White-Headed Vulture. The white line on the under wings stretches the full length of the wing.

Lappet-Faced Vulture's white wing line sits higher up on the wing and does not stretch the full length of the wing.
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:48 am

Furthermore the feet are pinkish and the bill tip is red.

A Lappet-Faced Vulture has a yellowish bill tip and the feet are bluish/grey.
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Re: Vulture: White-headed Vulture

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:55 pm

S100, KNP - Aug, 2008
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Re: Vulture: White-headed Vulture

Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:32 pm

A White-headed Vulture takes off (rather slowly I might add ... gosh loads of flapping to get airborne!) Mahonie Loop, Nov 2008
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Re: Vulture: White-headed Vulture

Unread postby richardharris » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:36 pm

One of my better photos of this wonderful vulture.

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