RAPTORS of Africa

Raptors are carnivorous. They hunt by sight during the day, are long lived, and have low reproductive rates. The catch their prey via strong claws three pointing forward and one pointing backward. The raptors that hunt by day are: hawks, eagle, buzzards, harriers, kites, vultures, falcons, caracaras. Owls hunt by night. Raptors are also called birds of prey.



Old World Vultures

Order Accipitriformes    Family Accipitridae

The order Accipitriformes contains the diurnal (active during the day) birds of prey: hawks, goshawks, eagles, kites, vultures, ospreys, secretary birds. These birds have sometimes been considered part of the Falconiformes which contains the falcons, but DNA evidence indicates the orders should be separate.

The Accipitridae family contains the hawks, goshawks, eagles, kites, Old World vultures. Subfamilies are often used to group related species, but the subfamiles for much of Accipitridae are in flux. They will be used here if there is agreement for their members.

Old World vultures are not closely related to New World vultures. They resemble each other because of convergent evolution. Vultures in general feed on dead animals. They tend to have bald heads to minimize the feathers that get contaminated from carrion. They have broad wings for efficient soaring, Old World Vulture do not have a good sense of smell and thus locate their meals by sight.


Genus Aegypius - 1 species

Vulture, Monk  also Eurasian Black Vulture also Cinereous Vulture  Aegypius monachus  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Monk Vulture has blackish-brown plumage; large bill; pale crown, nape.
Image by: 1) Joachim S. Müller  2) 4028mdk29  3) Mistvan - ZOO Olomouc, Czech Republic 4) Alastair Rae



Genus Gypaetus - 1 species

Vulture, Bearded   also  Lammergeier  Gypaetus barbatus     Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Bearded Vulture has blackish-gray upperparts; off-white to rusty underparts; whitish head, neck; black mask extends to form a short beard; feathered neck and legs; wedge-shaped tail.
Image by: 1, 2) Richard Bartz   3) Rob  4) Jayhem - Switzerland




Genus Gypohierax - 1 species

Vulture, Palm-nut  Gypohierax angolensis  Found: Africa
The Palm-nut Vulture has white head, body, wing coverts; black flight feathers, tail; square tail.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Jacksonville Zoo   2) Steve Garvie  3, 4) Sergey Yeliseev - Kenya, Samburu National Reserve



Genus Gyps
The Griffon vultures have an unfeathered head and neck, usually covered with light colored fuzz. They have a light colored fluffy neck collar termed a ruff.

Vulture, Cape  also Cape Griffon Vulture  Gyps coprotheres  Found: Africa
The Cape Vulture has mainly whitish plumage with black flight feathers and tail.
Similar to: White-backed Vulture. Cape Vulture has a whiter white than White-backed Vulture. Cape Vulture has longer neck fuzz.
Image by: 1) Ian White  2) Heather Paul   3) Arno Meintjes - South Africa  4) David Ellis  5) Cristiano Crolle - Kalahari desert, Namibia


Vulture, Eurasian Griffon also Griffon Vulture  Gyps fulvus  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Eurasian Griffon Vulture has buff back, wing coverts, underparts; black flight feathers, tail; white head, neck.
Image by: 1) Jorg Hempel  2) Ingrid Taylor - Oakland Zoo, California  3) Dick Daniels - Cental Zoo - Nepal  4) Sebastian Kruk  5) Cesare Dolzani



Vulture, Rüppell's  Griffon also Rüppell's Vulture Gyps rueppellii   Found: Africa
Image by:  1) Carol Foil - Samburu Reserve, Samburu District, Kenya  2, 3) Dick Daniels - Tanzania   4) Dick - San Diego Zoo


Vulture, (African) White-backed Gyps africanus Found: Africa
The White-backed Vulture has whitish back, wing coverts, neck underparts; black flight feathers. Juvenile is mostly black with white neck.
Similar to: Cape Vulture. Cape Vulture has a whiter white than White-backed Vulture. Cape Vulture has longer neck fuzz.
Image by: 1) Lip Kee - Kenya  2, 8, 9) Dick Daniels - Keekorok Lodge in the Masai Mara, Kenya  3) Sandy Cole - Kenya 
    4, 6) Arno Meintjes  5) Karen  7) Dick - Jacksonville Zoo, Florida  10) Charlie Westerinen - Zimbabwe  
1, 2, 3) Juvenile





Genus Necrosyrtes - 1 species

Vulture, Hooded  Necrosyrtes monachus  Found: Africa
The Hooded Vulture has mainly dark brown pluage; pink head; grayish "hood"; white front of throat. It is a small vulture.
Similar to: Lappet-faced Vulture. The Lappet-faced Vulture is considerably larger than the Hooded Vulture and has a more massive bill.
Image by: 1, 2, 5) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo   3) Gabriel Buissart    4) Darren Bellerby - Maasai Mara, Kenya   6) Dick - Keekorok Lodge in the Masai Mara, Kenya




Genus Neophron  - 1 species

Vulture, Egyptian  Neophron percnopterus  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
Image by: 1) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo  2) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo 3) Norbert Potensky   4) Sergey Yeliseev - Israel
1, 2) Neophron p. percnopterus 




Genus Torgos  - 1 species

Vulture, Lappet-faced Torgos tracheliotus   Found: Africa
The Lappet-faced Vulture has blackish upperparts; white to buff underparts; white leggings.
Similar to: Hooded Vulture. The Lappet-faced Vulture is considerably larger than the Hooded Vulture and has a more massive bill.
Image by:  1) Dick Daniels - Jacksonville Zoo  2) Dick - Tanzania   3) Darren Bellerby - Maasai Mara, Kenya  4) Johann du Preez



Genus Trigonoceps - 1 species

Vulture, White-headed  Trigonoceps occipitalis  Found: Africa
The White-headed Vulture has blackish upperparts, under-wing coverts; white head, neck, underparts, flight feathers, leggings.
Image by: 1) Luc Viatour  2) Merijn Vogel  3) Andree Kroger  4) David Schenfeld - Botswana







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