My scientific name is Torgos tracheliotos
What I look like
I am the second largest African Vulture. As an adult, my head is unfeathered and has fleshy folds, or lappets. I have dark eyes, a pale blue cere, a yellow bill, and red face. In flight, I am very dark with white thighs and a white bar running from my body to near the end of my wing.
Where I live
I build a huge, flat, grass-lined stick nest on tops of acacia trees. I lay one or two eggs which hatch after 54 to 56 days. I prefer undisturbed open country with some trees and little grass. I also am found on open-mountain slopes. I occur in thirty-two African countries including, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. I am occasionally reported in Burundi, Libya, Morocco, and Togo. I have been
extirpated in Algeria and Tunisia since the 1930s.
What I eat
I am often one of the first vultures to arrive at a large carcass. Smaller scavengers may rely on me to tear through the hide of a fresh carcass. In times of great need, I use my powerful beak to catch live prey, like young Thompson gazelles.
I like to feed with my mate and often show up at a carcass in twos.
My Conservation Status
I am considered to be Vulnerable. I face conservation concerns including accidental poisoning through use of agricultural pesticides, nest disturbance, reduced food availability, habitat loss, and electrocution on power-lines. I often am mistakenly persecuted as a predator of livestock. I am sometimes hunted for food, medicine, and cultural reasons in West Africa.