Palm-nut vulture

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Palm-nut vulture
Gypohierax angolensis -Jurong Bird Park-8a.jpg
Adult at Jurong Bird Park, Singapore
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Gypohierax
Rüppell, 1836
Species: G. angolensis
Binomial name
Gypohierax angolensis
(Gmelin, 1788)

The palm-nut vulture (Gypohierax angolensis) or vulturine fish eagle, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae (family which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards and harriers, vultures, and eagles). It is the only member of the genus Gypohierax. Unusual for birds of prey, it feeds mainly on the fruit of the oil palm, though it also feeds on crabs, molluscs, locusts, fish and has been known to occasionally attack domestic poultry.

This bird is an Old World vulture (only distantly related to the New World vultures, which are in a separate family, Cathartidae).

It breeds in forest and savannah across sub-Saharan Africa, usually near water, its range coinciding with that of the oil palm. It is quite approachable, like many African vultures, and can be seen near habitation, even on large hotel lawns in the tourist areas of countries like the Gambia.

Description[edit]

Juvenile

This is an unmistakable bird as an adult. At 1.3-1.7 kg (3-4 lbs), 60 cm (24 in) long and 150 cm (60 in) across the wings, this is the smallest Old World vulture.[2][3] Its plumage is all white except for black areas in its wings. It has a red patch around the eye. The immature, which takes 3–4 years to mature, is brown with a yellow eye patch. In flight this species resembles an eagle more than a typical vulture, and it can sustain flapping flight, so it does not depend on thermals.

Nesting[edit]

Gypohierax angolensis

Birds may form loose colonies. A single egg is incubated in a bulky stick nest in a tree for about six weeks.

Footnotes[edit]

References

External links[edit]