The palm-nut vulture (Gypohierax angolensis) or vulturine fish eagle, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae (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, and fish, and has been known to occasionally attack domestic poultry and bats.
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 such as the Gambia.
This is an unmistakable bird as an adult. At 1.3–1.7 kg (2.9–3.7 lb), 60 cm (24 in) long and 150 cm (59 in) across the wings, this is the smallest Old World vulture. Its plumage is all white except for black areas in its wings and tail. 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.
Birds may form loose colonies. A single egg is incubated in a bulky stick nest in a tree for about six weeks.
- IUCN Red List 2013.
- Mikula, P.; Morelli, F.; Lučan, R. K.; Jones, D. N.; Tryjanowski, P. (2016). "Bats as prey of diurnal birds: a global perspective". Mammal Review. doi:10.1111/mam.12060.
- Carneiro, Camilo; Henriques, Mohamed; Barbosa, Castro; Tchantchalam, Quintino; Regalla, Aissa; Patrício, Ana R.; Catry, Paulo (2017-04-10). "Ecology and behaviour of Palm-nut Vultures Gypohierax angolensis in the Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau". Ostrich. 0 (0): 1–9. doi:10.2989/00306525.2017.1291540. ISSN 0030-6525.
- "Palm-nut vulture videos, photos and facts — Gypohierax angolensis". ARKive. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- "Palm-nut Vulture — Gypohierax angolensis". oiseaux-birds.com. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- BirdLife International (2013). "Gypohierax angolensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Thomson, A. L.; Moreau, R. E. (1957). "Feeding Habits of the Palm-Nut Vulture Gypohierax". Ibis. 99 (4): 608–613. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1957.tb03053.x.
- Palmnut Vulture - Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds.
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