kids encyclopedia robot

Old World vulture facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Old World vultures
Gyps africanus Torgos tracheliotus.jpg
Lappet-faced Vultures (left) and a White-backed Vulture
Scientific classification
Aegypiinae and Gypaetinae

See text.

Old World vultures belong to the family Accipitridae. This family also includes eagles, buzzards, kites, and hawks.

Old World vultures are not closely related to New World vultures and condors. They do not share that group's good sense of smell.

Both Old World and New World vultures are scavenging birds. They feed mostly from carcasses of dead animals. Old World vultures find carcasses only by sight. Many vultures have a bald head, with no feathers or short down feathers. Because of how a vulture eats, their head is spattered with blood and other fluids. They are able to keep clean by not having long feathers on their head.

There are two groups of Old World vultures. The first group has the Egyptian vulture, bearded vulture, and palm-nut vulture. Some scientists put this group into a separate subfamily called "Gypaetinae", which means "eagle-vultures". It is related to the group of bazas, honey-buzzards and cuckoo-hawks, which are much smaller birds. The second group has all the other species. It is related to the booted eagles, which is a group of eagles that have feathers on their legs down to their toes.

The palm-nut vulture is unusual, because it feeds mainly on the fruit of the oil palm.


Subfamily Genus Common and binomial names Image Range
Gypaetinae Gypaetus Bearded vulture
Gypaetus barbatus
Bearded Vulture with bone - Catalan Pyrenees - Spain.jpg High mountains in southern Europe, the Caucasus, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Tibet
Gypohierax Palm-nut vulture
Gypohierax angolensis
Palm-nut Vulture - Murchison Falls NP - Uganda 06 5600 (15280673919).jpg Forest and savannah across sub-Saharan Africa
Neophron Egyptian vulture
Neophron percnopterus
Egyptian vulture.jpg Southwestern Europe and northern Africa to India
Aegypiinae Aegypius Cinereous vulture
Aegypius monachus
Black Vulture 1.jpg Southwestern and central Europe, Turkey, the central Middle East, northern India, central and east Asia
Aegypius jinniushanensis Formerly China
Aegypius prepyrenaicus Formerly Spain
Gyps Griffon vulture
Gyps fulvus
Белоглав лешояд - 1.jpg Mountains in southern Europe, north Africa and Asia
White-rumped vulture
Gyps bengalensis
Gyps bengalensis PLoS.png Northern and central India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and southeast Asia
Rüppell's vulture
Gyps rueppelli
Gyps rueppellii -Nairobi National Park, Kenya-8-4c.jpg The Sahel region of central Africa
Indian vulture
Gyps indicus
The Indian Vulture (Gyps indicus) or Long-billed Vulture.jpg Central and peninsular India
Slender-billed vulture
Gyps tenuirostris
Gyps tenuirostris.png The Sub-Himalayan regions of India and into Southeast Asia
Himalayan vulture
Gyps himalayensis
Himalayan Vulture (by a road) (2926948182).jpg The Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau
White-backed vulture
Gyps africanus
White-backed Vulture Chobe.jpg Savannahs of west and east Africa
Cape vulture
Gyps coprotheres
Cape Vulture - Giant Castle - South-Africa 010002 (15444476446).jpg Southern Africa
Necrosyrtes Hooded vulture
Necrosyrtes monachus
Vulture in Tanzania 3118 cropped Nevit.jpg Sub-Saharan Africa
Sarcogyps Red-headed vulture
Sarcogyps calvus
Red-headed or King Vulture (Sarcogyps calvus) Bharatpur, India. (254).jpg The Indian Subcontinent, with small disjunct populations in Southeast Asia
Torgos Lappet-faced vulture
Torgos tracheliotos
Nubianvulture.jpeg Sub-Saharan Africa, the Sinai and Negev deserts and north-west Saudi Arabia
Trigonoceps White-headed vulture
Trigonoceps occipitalis
Trigonoceps occipitalis -Kruger National Park, South Africa -flying-8.jpg Sub-Saharan Africa

† = extinct

kids search engine
Old World vulture Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.